When Immigration Matters

September Visa Bulletin and What Lies Ahead for Fiscal Year 2017

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 @ 3:47 PM

E--Documents_and_Settings-mpollak-My_Documents-My_PowerPoints-Statue_of_Liberty_&_US_Flag-resized-6.jpg

E--Documents_and_Settings-mpollak-My_Documents-My_PowerPoints-Statue_of_Liberty__US_Flag-resized.jpgThe U.S. Department of State (DOS) issues a monthly visa bulletin summarizing the availability of immigrant visa numbers.  The DOS has now issued the September 2016 Visa Bulletin.  This is the final visa bulletin for fiscal year 2016, and the new FY will begin October 1st.   

CURRENT EMPLOYMENT BASED VISA BULLETIN.  MONTH OF SEPTEMBER 2016.

EMPLOYMENT BASED:  COMPARING AUGUST 2016 VISA BULLETIN TO SEPTEMBER 2016 VISA BULLETIN

First Preference, EB1.  Cutoff date of 1/1/2010 for India and China remain the same. 

Second Preference, EB2.  India has advanced by a few months but continues to be retrogressed.   Cutoff date of 2/1/2014 remain in place for the all chargeability areas plus El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.  The cutoff date of 01/01/2010 for China remains unchanged.

Third Preference, EB3.  China remains the same. The rest of the cutoff dates have moved forward. 

Other Workers, Third Preference, EB3.  China remains the same.  The rest of the cutoff dates have moved forward.

Fourth Preference, EB4.  All have remained the same. 

Fifth Preference, EB5.  All have remained the same. 

 CURRENT FAMILY BASED VISA BULLETIN.  MONTH OF SEPTEMBER 2016.

 FAMILY BASED:  COMPARING AUGUST 2016 VISA BULLETIN TO SEPTEMBER 2016 VISA BULLETIN

F1.  Cutoff dates have moved forward by a few months. Mexico only moved forward by a couple of weeks. 

F2A.  Have remained unchanged for all categories.

F2B.  Cut off dates for China, India and worldwide have jumped to 2/1/2010 .   

F3.  China, India and all chargeability areas remain unchanged. Mexico jumped ahead by a few weeks and the Philippines by a few months. 

F4.  China and India remained unchanged.  All chargeability areas jumped ahead by a few weeks, while the Philippines jumped ahead by a month. Mexico also jumped ahead, but by a few days.

 

         

INSIGHTS AND PREDICTIONS FROM CHIEF OF VISA CONTROL AND REPORTING-DOS, CHARLIE OPPENHEIM

Please note these are only short-term predictions.  “Charlie must make assumptions regarding upcoming demand based on the available data and his prior experience in an effort to stabilize Final Action Date movements. Charlie prefers to advance the Final Action Dates conservatively in the hope of avoiding a retrogression later in the fiscal year, especially in categories that are subject to upgrades and downgrades. Unfortunately the need to generate sufficient demand to use all numbers available under the annual limits often requires aggressive forward movement of the dates.” 

 

As noted in AILA’s DOS Liaison Committee’s monthly report, the following is a summary of a check-in with DOS’s Charlie Oppenheim (AILA Doc. No. 14071401 | Dated July 26, 2016):

 

  • “Charlie projected possible Final Action Date movement for September.
  • EB4. Though EB-4 Mexico and EB-4 India will become current again in October, the prospects for a full recovery for EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are much less likely. A 2015 cut-off date will likely be established in these categories for October, with date(s) moving forward slowly through the next fiscal year. However, uncertainty surrounding the movement of the EB-4 Final Action dates for these Central American countries remains, given the lack of visibility into the number of adjustment of status filings that were received in April 2015, prior to the establishment of the cut-off date in May.
  • Family-Based Projections. Charlie expects a full recovery from retrogressions in all of the family-based categories in October, with the exception of F-4 China and F-4 India which will take some time. Beginning in November 2016, beneficiaries of F-4 China and F-4 India started responding to NVC Agent of Choice letters in larger numbers, which has given Charlie better visibility into the demand in these categories, but ultimately resulted in the retrogression of these cut-off dates.
  • F-4 China, which previously shared the F-4 Worldwide Final Action date until retrogressing in June (AILA Doc. No. 16050607) to January 1, 2003, while this category will not advance in September, there should be a full recovery to the prior Final Action date of July 22, 2003 by November.
  • Similarly, F-4 India also shared the F-4 Worldwide Final Action date until it retrogressed in June. Charlie continues to predict that the Final Action date for F-4 India will remain at January 1, 2001 through September. A full recovery of this category to the Worldwide level will not happen in October. Given the high level of demand, the Final Action date should advance to around November 2002 in October, with a full recovery unlikely to happen prior to June 2017.
  • Charlie will be watching the F-2A and F-3 preference categories very carefully. Both categories are likely to retrogress temporarily in September, and then return to their respective August 2015 Final Action dates in October.
  • EB Preference Categories. EB-2 India will continue to track one week ahead of the EB-3 India Final Action date in September.  EB-3 Worldwide has been hovering close to “current” for some time, and is expected to do so through at least October.
  • October Final Action dates for the EB-5 Regional Center categories remain uncertain as that category will sunset unless Congress acts prior to the end of the fiscal year.
  • In setting cut-off dates for EB-1 China and EB-1 India, Charlie hoped to avoid having to establish a cut-off date for EB-1 Worldwide. Charlie expects that EB-1 China and EB-1 India will become current again in October, or November at the latest.”

White House Leaks President Obama's Immigration Reform Early

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 @ 3:51 PM

executive action; immigration reformExtracts of President Obama's Immigration Action have been leaked by the White House.docs/White-House-Details-on-Anticipated-Administrative-Relief.pdf  Essentially, you must pass criminal and background checks, pay taxes and a fee and show the following:

are a parent of a US. citizen or lawful permanent resident on the date of the announcement and have been in the USA since January 1 2010

or

  • are an individual who arrived in the USA before turning 16 and before January 1 2010 regardless of how old they are 
The Government also states it will reduce wait times that families are separated while obtaining green cards.  Undocumented immigrants who are immediate relatives of lawful permanent residents or sons and daughters of US citizens can apply to get a waiver if a visa is available.  
You must have been in the USA for at least 5 years to qualify for these programs.  Recent border crosses are ineligible (defined as entering after Jan 1, 2014)
The Government will not begin accepting applications until early 2015.

Don't Miss Fareed Zakaria's "Global Lessons: The GPS Roadmap for Making Immigration Work"

Posted by Michael Pollak on Fri, Jun 08, 2012 @ 8:33 AM

fareed zakariaFareed Zakaria looks at how the immigration systems work - and don't work - in Japan, Europe, Canada and the U.S. in a prime-time special: "Global Lessons: The GPS Roadmap for Making Immigration Work" on CNN at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 10

Few topics are more provocative than immigration. In this special, Fareed looks around the world for insightful immigration policies in Japan, Europe, and Canada – and explores what the United States can learn from each.

While America is an immigrant society, many other countries have learned our tricks and bettered them.

Fareed notes, "that Canada has more foreign-born nationals than we do? And Australia has more immigrants than we do? Those societies have become, in 10 or 15 years, genuinely pluralistic, diverse immigrant societies. And here's the kicker: They have figured out a way to do immigration right, where they take smart, hardworking, talented people whom their economy needs."

Sunday's special, examines these lessons with immigration political thought leaders – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I-NY), and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R-KS).

Easier Path to Green Card for Some Illegal Immigrants Announced

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Fri, Jan 06, 2012 @ 9:33 AM

Green Card, USCISThe Obama Administration announced today January 6th that it would pass legislation facilitating a path to a Green Card for some illegal immigrants. 

This change that Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration is offering would benefit United States citizens who are married to or have children who are illegal immigrants. It would correct the hardships that many Americans now confront when their spouses or children apply to become legal permanent residents.

This proposal will make a great difference for countless Americans. Thousands will no longer be separated from family members and the proposal will encourage Americans to come forward to apply to bring illegal immigrant family members into the legal system.

Illegal immigrants who are married to or are children of American citizens are generally allowed under the law to become legal residents with a visa known as a green card. But the law requires most immigrants who are here illegally to return to their home countries in order to receive their legal visas.

The catch is that once the immigrants leave the United States, they are automatically barred from returning to this country for at least three years, and often for a decade, even if they are fully eligible to become legal residents.

The immigration agency can provide a waiver from those tough measures, if the immigrants can show that their absence would cause “extreme hardship” to a United States citizen. But until now, obtaining the waiver was almost impossible.  

Immigrants had to leave the United States and return to their countries of birth to wait for at least three months and sometimes much longer while the waiver was approved. And sometimes the waivers were not approved, and the immigrants were permanently stranded, separated from their American families.

Now, Citizenship and Immigration Services proposes to allow the immigrants to obtain a provisional waiver in the United States, before they leave for their countries to pick up their visas. Having the waiver in hand will allow them to depart knowing that they will almost certainly be able to return, officials said. The agency is also seeking to sharply streamline the process to cut down the wait times for visas to a few weeks at most.

On Friday, the agency will publish a formal notice in the Federal Register that it is preparing a new regulation governing the waivers. But agency officials, speaking on condition of anonymity on Thursday before the proposal was formally announced, stressed that this was only the beginning of a long regulatory process that they hoped to complete by issuing a new rule before the end of this year.

The change on how and where these waivers are designed to ease the burdens on American and immigrant families stemming from a broken immigration system.

Source of Article:  New York Times "Easier Route to Green Card to be Proposed for Some" by Julia Preston

Happy Thanksgiving: An Immigrant's Perspective

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Thu, Nov 24, 2011 @ 12:10 PM
                                    Dear Friends,
karen-Lee Pollak

Thanksgiving is the time of year when we are reminded of all the things we are grateful for. This year, I am looking forward to my husband's parents ' Thanksgiving dinner.  This is a great time of year to enjoy time with family and friends, and of course, watch the Dallas Cowboys.

 

Thanksgiving is a relatively new holiday for me.  It is the holiday of my adopted home and I look forward to passing on all its family traditions to my children.  The United States is a place of improbable stories, of lives that never could have been realized anywhere else in the world.  I do not believe that my life as a lawyer amd all the possibilities that have grown from my career would have been possible in any other country. 

 

You cannot choose the country where you are born.  But  a lucky few have the opportunity to choose the country where they live.  When I was growing up, I never imagined that one day I woud be an immigrant. The United States has allowed me to shape my future and to assist many others in shaping theirs.  Thank you America for giving me this opportunity. 

 

I am so grateful for all the blessings in my life, including each of you-my family, friends, colleagues, and clients. Reflecting on the year, I can truly say that I enjoy my work, I am passionate about the causes I choose to fight, and I cherish the people I get to work with and for.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you, and thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives.

 
Sincerely,

 

 

Karen-Lee Pollak

Survey finds Immigration Inconsistent in Applying Prosecutorial Discretion

Posted by Michael Pollak on Wed, Nov 09, 2011 @ 5:13 PM

Today, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council (AIC) released a new survey today finding that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and attorneys across the country are applying different standards on prosecutorial discretion despite the issuance of national policy memoranda this summer.  The June 17, 2011, memo outlines for ICE agents and attorneys the criteria that would make an immigration removal case a low priority for enforcement action. These criteria include ties to America including service in the U.S. armed forces, schooling, contributions to the community, and other equities for enforcement officials to consider when deciding what course of action to take in a particular case.

The survey reflects information on all 28 offices across the United States.  Shockingly, the survey reveals that most ICE offices have ignored headquarters memoranda.  “We felt that ICE’s June 2011 memoranda about the use of prosecutorial discretion in certain types of immigration cases were clear and straightforward,” said AILA President Eleanor Pelta. “But,” Pelta continued, “these survey results show that ICE agents and attorneys are not willing to use the discretion they are responsible for implementing without further guidance. They are asking for more, and the agency’s leadership should help them get it,” said Pelta.

According to Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, "the June 2011 memo lays out a basic premise in law enforcement: the proper exercise of discretion is an integral part of any law enforcement effort to focus its resources effectively. If, as this survey reveals, many local immigration officials are unwilling to accept this basic premise, then the challenge for DHS and ICE is to back the memo up with the leadership, training and support necessary to make sure that these policies are actually being implemented."

The full survey may be reviewed at  Holding DHS Accountable on Prosecutorial Discretion, which evidences that while some ICE offices have begun to implement the guidance, most have not and many are actively resistant. Some officials said their jobs are “to arrest and deport.” 

To view the survey in it's entirety, see:

Immigrant Entrepreneurs Critical For Long-Term US Economic Growth

Posted by Michael Pollak on Wed, Feb 09, 2011 @ 3:50 PM

The Brookings Institution releases report:  Immigration and High-Impact, High-Tech Entrepreneurship by David M. Hart and Zoltan J. Acs.

immigration lawyer in dallas txThe study shows that immigrant entrepreneurs play a critical role in founding high-impact, high-tech companies – that serve as drivers for long-term economic growth.  The United States continues to attract the world's brightest, most innovative and motivated risk-takers. 

 

immigration lawyer in dallas txAbout 77 percent are U.S. citizens, who are well-educated and have substantial professional experience. The evidence does not rule out the possibility that the immigrant entrepreneurs “crowd out” comparable natives, but teh authors are incline toward the view that immigrants and natives complement one another. Three policy options are discusses that might expand the pool of potential high-impact, high-tech immigrant entrepreneurs over the long-term: clearing the green card backlog, easing the pathway from student visa to work visa to green card, and creating a “point system” for a limited number of unsponsored green card applicants.

Read more...

 

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USCIS Reaches FY 2011 H-1B Cap

Posted by Karen Pollak on Fri, Jan 28, 2011 @ 7:39 AM

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2011.  USCIS is notifying the public that yesterday, Jan. 26, 2011, is the final receipt date for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY2011.

H-1B VisaThe final receipt date is the date on which USCIS determines that it has received enough cap-subject petitions to reach the limit of 65,000.  Properly filed cases will be considered received on the date that USCIS physically receives the petition; not the date that the petition was postmarked.  USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions for new H-1B specialty occupation workers seeking an employment start date in FY2011 that arrive after Jan. 26, 2011.

USCIS will apply a computer-generated random selection process to all petitions that are subject to the cap and were received on Jan. 26, 2011. USCIS will use this process to select petitions needed to meet the cap.  USCIS will reject all remaining cap-subject petitions not randomly selected and will return the accompanying fee.

On Dec. 22, 2010, USCIS had also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the ‘advanced degree’ exemption. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.  Pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will not be counted towards the congressionally-mandated FY2011 H-1B cap.  Accordingly, USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the U.S.;
  • change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  • allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
  • allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers.

Visa Bulletin for February 2011 | Immigration

Posted by Karen Pollak on Fri, Jan 21, 2011 @ 9:00 AM

A. STATUTORY NUMBERSVisa Bulletin

1.  This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during February. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status.  Allocations were made, to the extent possible under the numerical limitations, for the demand received by January 11th in the chronological order of the reported priority dates. If the demand could not be satisfied within the statutory or regulatory limits, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed.  The cut-off date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits.

Only applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date may be allotted a number. Immediately that it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a cut-off date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new cut-off date which has been announced in this bulletin.

2. Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets an annual minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000.  The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000. Section 202 prescribes that the per-country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,620.  The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,320.

3.  Section 203 of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of immigrant visas as follows:

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES

First:  Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens:  23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second:  Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:  114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, and any unused first preference numbers:

A.  Spouses and Children:  77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B.  Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older):  23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third:  Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens:  23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth:  Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens:  65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES

First:    Priority Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.

Second:  Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.

Third:  Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to "Other Workers".  

Fourth:  Certain Special Immigrants:  7.1% of the worldwide level.

Fifth:  Employment Creation:  7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of P.L. 102-395.

4.  INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed.  Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal.  The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit.  These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas:  CHINA-mainland born, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.

5.  On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); "C" means current, i.e., numbers are available for all qualified applicants; and "U" means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available.  (NOTE:  Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.)

Family All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born DOMINICAN REPUBLIC INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st 01JAN05 01JAN05 01JAN05 01JAN05 22JAN93 01AUG94
2A 01JAN08 01JAN08 01JAN08 01JAN08 01APR05 01JAN08
2B 15APR03 15APR03 01JAN97 15APR03 01JUL92 01JUN99
3rd 01JAN01 01JAN01 01JAN01 01JAN01 22NOV92 22OCT91
4th 01JAN00 01JAN00 01JAN00 01JAN00 01JAN96 15JAN88

*NOTE:  For February, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01APR05.  2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01APR05 and earlier than 01JAN08.  (All 2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no 2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)

Employment- Based

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA- mainland born DOMINICAN REPUBLIC INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C C
2nd C 01JUL06 C 08MAY06 C C
3rd 01APR05 01JAN04 01APR05 22FEB02 08JUL03 01APR05
Other Workers 01MAY03 22APR03 01MAY03 22FEB02 01MAY03 01MAY03
4th C C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C C
5th C C C C C C
Targeted Employment Areas/ Regional Centers C C C C C C
5th Pilot Programs C C C C C C

The Department of State has available a recorded message with visa availability information which can be heard at:  (area code 202) 663-1541.  This recording will be updated in the middle of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.

Employment Third Preference Other Workers Category:  Section 203(e) of the NACARA, as amended by Section 1(e) of Pub. L. 105-139, provides that once the Employment Third Preference Other Worker (EW) cut-off date has reached the priority date of the latest EW petition approved prior to November 19, 1997, the 10,000 EW numbers available for a fiscal year are to be reduced by up to 5,000 annually beginning in the following fiscal year.  This reduction is to be made for as long as necessary to offset adjustments under the NACARA program.  Since the EW cut-off date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.

B. DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY

Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides a maximum of up to 55,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year to permit immigration opportunities for persons from countries other than the principal sources of current immigration to the United States.  The Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997 stipulates that beginning with DV-99, and for as long as necessary, up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NACARA program.  This reduction has resulted in the DV-2011 annual limit being reduced to 50,000.  DV visas are divided among six geographic regions.  No one country can receive more than seven percent of the available diversity visas in any one year.

For February, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2011 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

RegionAll DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately 
AFRICA 26,100 Except: Egypt 20,200
Ethiopia 15,000
Nigeria 12,100
ASIA 14,850  
EUROPE 17,600  
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 7  
OCEANIA 810  
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 900  

Entitlement to immigrant status in the DV category lasts only through the end of the fiscal (visa) year for which the applicant is selected in the lottery.  The year of entitlement for all applicants registered for the DV-2011 program ends as of September 30, 2011.  DV visas may not be issued to DV-2011 applicants after that date.  Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2011 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2011.  DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2011 cannot be taken for granted.  Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.

C. ADVANCE NOTIFICATION OF THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANK CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN MARCH

For March, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2011 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

RegionAll DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately 
AFRICA 31,950 Except: Egypt 24,275
Ethiopia 18,650
Nigeria 13,100
ASIA 17,200  
EUROPE 20,450  
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 7  
OCEANIA 900  
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 1,025  

D. RETROGRESSION OF FAMILY CUT-OFF DATES

Continued heavy applicant demand for numbers in the Family Fourth preference category has required the retrogression of the Worldwide, China-mainland born, Dominican Republic, and India cut-off date for the month of February.

It has also been necessary to retrogress the Dominican Republic F2B category for the month of February.

Further retrogressions cannot be ruled out should demand continue at the current levels for some categories and countries. 

Please Note:   Applicants entitled to immigrant status become documentarily qualified at their own initiative and convenience. By no means has every applicant with a priority date earlier than a prevailing cut-off date been processed for final visa action.  On the contrary, visa allotments are made only on the basis of the total applicants reported documentarily qualified each month, compared with the amount of available numbers.  For example, during the past month, over 17,300 of the applicants who have become documentarily qualified in the Family preference categories have priority dates earlier than the cut-off dates established for January.  Demand for visa numbers can fluctuate from one month to another, with the inevitable impact on cut-off dates.  

Following are examples of possible cut-off date actions based on demand:

Numbers
Available 
Demand with Priority Dates
Prior to the Current Cut-off
Next Month’s
Cut-off Date Will

3,000
3,000
3,000

1,000
3,000
5,000
Advance
Remain the same
Retrogress

 

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H-1B Visa Count (January 14, 2011) | 4300 Regular Cap Visas Remain

Posted by Karen Pollak on Wed, Jan 19, 2011 @ 9:50 AM

USCISAs of December, 24, 2010, the Master's exemption number for H-1B has been reached. For the regular H-1B cap, we are in the final stretch and expect the remaining 4300 H-1B visas to be used  in the next 2-3 weeks. It reflects the sluggish economy, the high unemployment (9.6%) and the tax uncertainty.

The good news is that you can still apply for the fiscal year 2011!

More information can be found at the USCIS H-1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Cap Season Page.

Cap Type

Cap Amount

Cap Eligible Petitions

Petition Target


Date of Last Count

H-1B Regular Cap

65,000

60,700

 

1/14/2011

H-1B Master's Exemption

20,000

20,000

 

1/14/2011

Immigration questions?  We have answers.  Free consultation available | 800-969-5529

 

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