Immigration Law

August 2018 Visa Bulletin

August 2018 Visa Bulletin

Notes....

D.  SPECIAL IMMIGRANT (SI) TRANSLATOR CATEGORY VISA AVAILABILITY

Given the limited availability of visa numbers and the existing demand, the Department expects to reach the FY-2018 annual limit of 50 Special Immigrant Visas in the SI category early this year. As a result, it has been necessary to maintain an August Final Action Date of April 22, 2012. Once the annual limit of 50 visas is reached, further issuances in the SI category will not be possible until October 2018, under the FY-2019 annual limit. The SQ Special Immigrant Visa category for certain Iraqi and Afghan nationals employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq or Afghanistan is not affected and remains current.

E.  FAMILY-SPONSORED VISA AVAILABILITY DURING SEPTEMBER

The level of applicant demand being received in several preference categories has been steadily increasing.  Although it is too early to tell at this time, continued high levels of demand might require the retrogression of one or more final action dates for September.  Such action would be necessary to hold number use within the overall worldwide annual limits. 

INDIA:  The level of applicant demand being received in the Family Third and Fourth preference categories in recent months has increased dramatically.  It is expected that one or both of these final action dates will be retrogressed for September.  Such action would be necessary to hold number use within the per-country annual limit. 

Any retrogression of the above mentioned preferences would be temporary and in October, the first month of fiscal year 2019, the final action dates would be returned to those established for August.

F.  OVERSUBSCRIPTION OF AUGUST EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CATEGORIES

WORLDWIDE, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, MEXICO, AND PHILIPPINES EMPLOYMENT-BASED FIRST (E1) PREFERENCE:  As readers were advised in item F of the July Visa Bulletin, there continues to be an extremely high rate of demand for E1 numbers, primarily for USCIS adjustment of status applicants. Therefore, pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, it has been necessary to impose an E1 Final Action Date for the month of August, with this date being imposed immediately. This action will allow the Department to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2018 annual limits.  

INDIA Employment-based Fourth (E4) AND Certain Religious Workers (SR) preference categories:  There has been extremely high demand in these preference categories. Pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, it has been necessary to impose E4 and SR Final Action Dates for India, which has reached its per-country limit. This action will allow the Department to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2018 annual limits.

The implementation of the above mentioned dates will only be temporary, with the dates returning to Current status for October, the first month of fiscal year 2019.

G.  DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY 2019 (DV-2019) RESULTS

The Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, Kentucky has registered and notified the winners of the DV-2019 diversity lottery.  The diversity lottery was conducted under the terms of section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and makes available *50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.  Approximately 87,610 applicants have been registered and notified and may now make an application for an immigrant visa. Since it is likely that some of the first *50,000 persons registered will not pursue their cases to visa issuance, this larger figure should insure that all DV-2019 numbers will be used during fiscal year 2019 (October 1, 2018 until September 30, 2019).

Applicants registered for the DV-2019 program were selected at random from 14,352,013 qualified entries (22,425,053 with derivatives) received during the 35-day application period that ran from noon, Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, until noon, Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, November 22, 2017.  The visas have been apportioned among six geographic regions with a maximum of seven percent available to persons born in any single country.  During the visa interview, principal applicants must provide proof of a high school education or its equivalent, or show two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience within the past five years.  Those selected will need to act on their immigrant visa applications quickly.  Applicants should follow the instructions in their notification letter and must fully complete the information requested.

Registrants living legally in the United States who wish to apply for adjustment of their status must contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for information on the requirements and procedures.  Once the total *50,000 visa numbers have been used, the program for fiscal year 2019 will end.  Selected applicants who do not receive visas by September 30, 2019 will derive no further benefit from their DV-2019 registration.  Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2019 principal applicants are only entitled to derivative diversity visa status until September 30, 2019.

Dates for the DV-2020 program registration period will be widely publicized in the coming months.  Those interested in entering the DV-2020 program should check the Department of State’s Visa web page in the coming months.

*The Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997 stipulated that up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas be made available for use under the NACARA program.  The reduction of the limit of available visas to 50,000 began with DV-2000.

The following is the statistical breakdown by foreign state of chargeability of those registered for the DV-2019 program:  

AFRICA
ALGERIA  2,462 ESWATINI  1 NAMIBIA  7
ANGOLA  316 ETHIOPIA  3,856  NIGER  58
BENIN  751 GABON  41 RWANDA  510
BOTSWANA  3 GAMBIA, THE  41 SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE  0
BURKINA FASO  174 GHANA  2,484 SENEGAL  260
BURUNDI  300 GUINEA  719 SEYCHELLES  1
CABO VERDE  11 GUINEA-BISSAU  6  SIERRA LEONE  1,207
CAMEROON  2,978 KENYA  2,107 SOMALIA  196
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC  11 LESOTHO  3 SOUTH AFRICA  454
CHAD  47 LIBERIA  2,484 SOUTH SUDAN  37
COMOROS  10 LIBYA  261 SUDAN   2,617
CONGO  248 MADAGASCAR  38 TANZANIA  106
CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE  4,186 MALAWI  22 TOGO  1,242
COTE D’IVOIRE 1,036 MALI  58 TUNISIA  115
DJIBOUTI  89 MAURITANIA  25 UGANDA  318
EGYPT  4,185 MAURITIUS  11 ZAMBIA  41
EQUATORIAL GUINEA  16 MOROCCO  1,717 ZIMBABWE  90
ERITREA  284 MOZAMBIQUE  7
ASIA
AFGHANISTAN  543 JAPAN  376 QATAR  38
BAHRAIN  16 JORDAN  613 SAUDI ARABIA  630
BHUTAN  38 NORTH KOREA  1 SINGAPORE  27
BRUNEI  0 KUWAIT  158 SRI LANKA  784
BURMA  273 LAOS  11 SYRIA  420
CAMBODIA  237 LEBANON  268 TAIWAN  374
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMIN. REGION  69 MALAYSIA  104 THAILAND  122
INDONESIA  179 MALDIVES  5 TIMOR-LESTE  0
IRAN  4,199 MONGOLIA  196 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 157
IRAQ  731 NEPAL  3,633 YEMEN  1,193
ISRAEL  214 OMAN  10  
EUROPE
ALBANIA  2,503 GREECE  98 NORTHERN IRELAND  8
ANDORRA  0 HUNGARY  92 NORWAY  19
ARMENIA  1,738 ICELAND  4   Svalbard  1
AUSTRIA  24 IRELAND  52 POLAND  461
AZERBAIJAN  1,203 ITALY  333 PORTUGAL  30
BELARUS  1,355 KAZAKHSTAN  886 ROMANIA  430
BELGIUM  42 KOSOVO  286 RUSSIA  3,641
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA 53 KYRGYZSTAN  693 SAN MARINO  1
BULGARIA  411 LATVIA  52 SERBIA  307
CROATIA  43 LIECHTENSTEIN  0 SLOVAKIA  27
CYPRUS  6 LITHUANIA  184 SLOVENIA  9
CZECH REPUBLIC  64 LUXEMBOURG  5 SPAIN  164
DENMARK  32 MACEDONIA  270 SWEDEN  53
ESTONIA  26   MALTA  7 SWITZERLAND  47
FINLAND  47 MOLDOVA  1,138 TAJIKISTAN  1,171
FRANCE  366 MONACO  1 TURKEY  2,411
  French Polynesia  1 MONTENEGRO  28 TURKMENISTAN  258
  Saint Martin  1 NETHERLANDS  69 UKRAINE  4,025
  St. Pierre and Miquelon  1   Aruba  4 UZBEKISTAN  3,461
GEORGIA  867    Curacao  3 VATICAN CITY  4 
GERMANY  488   Sint Maarten  2   
NORTH AMERICA
BAHAMAS, THE  18    
OCEANIA
AUSTRALIA  777 NAURU  22 SAMOA  7
  Christmas Island  3 NEW ZEALAND  242 SOLOMON ISLANDS  3
FIJI  396   Cook Islands  7 TONGA  58
KIRIBATI  9   Tokelau  3   TUVALU  0
MARSHALL ISLANDS  0 PALAU  2 VANUATU  0
MICRONESIA, FEDERATED STATES OF  1 PAPUA NEW GUINEA  8  
SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, AND THE CARIBBEAN 
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA  4 DOMINICA  3 PARAGUAY  5
ARGENTINA  81 ECUADOR  224 SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS  0
BARBADOS  4 GRENADA  2 SAINT LUCIA  0
BELIZE  0 GUATEMALA  50 SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES 4
BOLIVIA  19 GUYANA  6 SURINAME  0
CHILE  41 HONDURAS  44 TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO  33
COSTA RICA  28 NICARAGUA  15 URUGUAY  8
CUBA  326 PANAMA  3 VENEZUELA  1,282

Natives of the following countries were not eligible to participate in DV-2019:  Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born, excluding Hong Kong S.A.R., Macau, and Taiwan), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.