August 2018 Visa Bulletin
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:
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.