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Annual Report of Immigrant Visa Applicants in the Family-sponsored and Employment-based preferences Registered at the National Visa Center as of November 1, 2011

December 09, 2011 (1 min read)

"Most prospective immigrant visa applicants qualify for status under the law on the basis of
family relationships or employer sponsorship. Entitlement to visa processing in these classes is
established ordinarily through approval by Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) of a
petition filed on the applicant's behalf. The petitions of applicants who will be processed at an
overseas post are forwarded by CIS to the Department of State; applicants in categories subject
to numerical limit are registered on the visa waiting list. Each case is assigned a priority (i.e.,
registration) date based on the filing date accorded to the petition. Visa issuance within each
numerically limited category is possible only if the applicant's priority date is within the
applicable cut-off dates which are published each month by the Department of State in the Visa
Bulletin. Family and Employment preference applicants compete for visa numbers within their
respective categories on a worldwide basis according to priority date; a per-country limit on such
preference immigrants set by INA 202 places a maximum on the amount of visas which may be
issued in a single year to applicants from any one country, however.

In October, the Department of State asked the National Visa Center (NVC) at Portsmouth, New
Hampshire to report the totals of applicants on the waiting list in the various numerically-limited
immigrant categories. Applications for adjustment of status under INA 245 which are pending at
CIS Offices are not included in the tabulation of the immigrant waiting list data which is being
provided at this time. As such, the following figures ONLY reflect petitions which the
Department of State has received, and do not include the significant number of applications held
with the CIS Offices.

The following figures have been compiled from the NVC report submitted to the Department on
November 1, 2011, and show the number of immigrant visa applicants on the waiting list in the
various preferences and subcategories subject to numerical limit. All figures reflect persons
registered under each respective numerical limitation, i.e., the totals represent not only principal
applicants or petition beneficiaries, but their spouses and children entitled to derivative status
under INA 203(d) as well." - Department of State, Dec. 2011.