DOS Releases January 2018 Visa Bulletin
The Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA") sets annual worldwide and per-country numerical limits on employment-based and family-sponsored immigrant visas. These visas are supply-side "products," allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The January 2018 Visa Bulletin is issued on the basis of reported demand received from DOS (visa applicants) and CIS (adjustment applicants) by December 11, 2017.
This month's bulletin shows backlogs (demand > supply) in the EB-2 category for China and India; the EB-3 category for China, India, and the Philippines (including "Other Workers"); the EB-4 category for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico (with worldwide unavailability for "Certain Religious Workers"); and the EB-5 category for China ("Non-Regional Center") (with worldwide unavailability for "Regional Center"). There are significant backlogs in all family-sponsored categories, with backlogs of up to ~23 years (FS-4 category for the Philippines).
A link to the January bulletin is here.
As stated in Section A, the bulletin "summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during January for: 'Final Action Dates' and 'Dates for Filing Applications,' indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center. Unless otherwise indicated on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website at www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo, individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status with USCIS in the Department of Homeland Security must use the 'Final Action Dates' charts...for determining when they can file such applications. When USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for the fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, USCIS will state on its website that applicants may instead use the 'Dates for Filing Visa Applications' charts in this Bulletin."
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