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  • Type: Processing times and status checks
    Post date: Jan 20th 2020
    Body:
    Form Type Case Type Completed 0-180 Days Quarterly Completions
    Cumulative of all completions   49.70% 1827
    I-129CW CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker 100% 3
    I-129E2 CNMI Treaty Investor 100% 4
    I-129F Petition for Fiancée 62.22% 45
    I-129H1B Nonimmigrant Specialty Occupation Worker 28.98% 452
    I-129H3 Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange 0% 3
    I-129L Nonimmigrant Intracompany Transferee 98.48% 66
    I-129O Nonimmigrant Extraordinary Ability Worker  7.69% 13
    I-129P Athletes, Artists and Entertainers 66.67% 9
    I-129R Nonimmigrant Religious Worker 18.18% 11
    I-131 Application for Travel Document 57.14% 21
    I-140A Alien with Extraordinary Ability 16.87% 83
    I-140B Outstanding Professor or Researcher 0% 3
    I-140C Multinational Manager or Executive 96.97% 33
    I-140D Advanced Degree Professional 90% 30
    I-140E Professional Worker 90.48% 21
    I-140F Skilled Worker 100% 16
    I-140G Other Worker 100% 7
    I-140I National Interest Waiver 9.52% 21
    I-212 Application to Reapply for Admission 43.75% 48
    I-352 Bond Breach 95.76% 165
    I-360C Special Immigrant Juvenile 46.28% 309
    I-360D Petition for Religious Worker 57.14% 7
    I-360 VAWA Violence Against Women Act Petition 53.33% 30
    I-485U U Visa Nonimmigrant Adjustment 36.11% 72
    I-526 Alien Entrepreneur 18.18% 22
    I-600 Petition for Orphan 100% 1
    I-601 Application for Waiver of Inadmissibility 45.28% 159
    I-612 Application of 212(e) Waiver 0% 3
    I-687 Application for Temporary Resident Status Under Section 245A 100% 1
    I-698 Application to Adjust Status from Temporary to Permanent Resident Under Section 245A 50% 4
    I-821 Temporary Protected Status 33.33% 39
    I-914 Application for T Nonimmigrant Status 83.33% 6
    I-918 Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status 52.94% 51
    I-924 Application for Regional Center Designation 0% 2
    I-924 Termination Termination of Regional Center Designation 75% 4
    I-929 Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Recipient 100% 1
    N-565 Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document 60% 5
    N-600 Certificate of Citizenship 66.67% 51
    SEC 342 Cancellation of Certificate of Citizenship 100% 1
       
  • Type: News
    Post date: Jan 20th 2020
    Body:

    recently updated the following USCIS form(s):

  • Type: News
    Post date: Jan 20th 2020
    Body:

    WASHINGTON— U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) final fiscal year (FY) 2019 agency statistics are now available online. These statistics include naturalizations, green cards, employment authorizations and protected populations, among other categories.  The agency’s FY 2019 asylum statistics are available here.

    Highlights:

    USCIS naturalized 834,000 new citizens in FY 2019 – an 11 year high in new oaths of citizenship. USCIS granted lawful permanent residence to nearly 577,000 individuals and in FY 2019, the number of applications pending for green cards and naturalizations was reduced by 14 percent and 12 percent respectively.

    The agency received nearly 2.2 million employment authorization applications. Furthermore, USCIS approved more than 500,000 petitions for non-immigrant workers in FY 2019, including specialty occupation, temporary agricultural and non-agricultural, and other workers.

    USCIS also processed more than 40 million cases through E-Verify.

    USCIS granted immigration relief to more than 25,000 individuals, including victims of trafficking, crime and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) recipients – an eight percent increase from FY 2018.

    USCIS is committed to administering the nation’s immigration system and safeguarding its integrity while fulfilling mission to efficiently and fairly adjudicate the applications of those seeking lawful status in the U.S.

  • Type: News
    Post date: Jan 20th 2020
    Body:

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State (DOS), have announced the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs in 2020. The notice listing the eligible countries will be published in the Federal Register on Jan. 17, 2020.

    For 2020, the acting secretary of Homeland Security has determined, with the concurrence of the Office of the Secretary of State, that the countries designated as eligible in 2019 will remain unchanged. 

    DHS maintains its authority to add countries to the eligible countries list at any time, and to remove any country whenever DHS and DOS determine that a country fails to meet the requirements for continued designation. Examples of factors that could result in the exclusion of a country or the removal of a country from the list include fraud, abuse, denial rates, overstay rates, human trafficking concerns, and other forms of noncompliance with the terms and conditions of the H-2 visa programs by nationals of that country.

    The H-2A and H-2B visa programs allow U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural and nonagricultural jobs, respectively. Typically, USCIS approves H-2A and H-2B petitions only for nationals of countries that the secretary of Homeland Security has designated as eligible to participate in the programs. However, USCIS may approve H-2A and H-2B petitions, including those that were pending as of the date of the Federal Register notice, for nationals of countries not on the list on a case-by-case basis only if doing so is determined to be in the interest of the United States.

    Effective Jan. 19, 2020, nationals of the following countries are eligible to receive H-2A and H-2B visas:

    Andorra

    Finland

    Malta

    Serbia

    Argentina

    France

    Moldova*

    Singapore

    Australia

    Germany

    Mozambique

    Slovakia

    Austria

    Greece

    Mexico

    Slovenia

    Barbados

    Grenada

    Monaco

    Solomon Islands

    Belgium

    Guatemala

    Mongolia

    South Africa

    Brazil

    Honduras

    Montenegro

    South Korea

    Brunei

    Hungary

    Nauru

    Spain

    Bulgaria

    Iceland

    The Netherlands

    St. Vincent and the Grenadines

    Canada

    Ireland

    Nicaragua

    Sweden

    Chile

    Israel

    New Zealand

    Switzerland

    Colombia

    Italy

    Norway

    Taiwan**

    Costa Rica

    Jamaica

    Panama

    Thailand

    Croatia

    Japan

    Paraguay*

    Timor-Leste

    Czech Republic

    Kiribati

    Papua New Guinea

    Tonga

    Denmark

    Latvia

    Peru

    Turkey

    Dominican Republic*

    Liechtenstein

    Poland

    Tuvalu

    Ecuador

    Lithuania

    Portugal

    Ukraine

    El Salvador

    Luxembourg

    Romania

    United Kingdom

    Estonia

    North Macedonia

    Samoa

    Uruguay

    Fiji

    Madagascar

    San Marino

    Vanuatu

    *Moldova, Paraguay, and the Dominican Republic are eligible to participate in the H-2A program, but they are not eligible to participate in the H-2B program.

    **Regarding all references to “country” or “countries” in this document, it should be noted that the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, Pub. L. No. 96-8, Section 4(b)(1), provides that “[w]henever the laws of the United States refer or relate to foreign countries, nations, states, governments, or similar entities, such terms shall include and such laws shall apply with respect to Taiwan.” 22 U.S.C. § 3303(b)(1). Accordingly, all references to “country” or “countries” in the regulations governing whether nationals of a country are eligible for H-2 program participation, 8 CFR 214.2(h)(5)(i)(F)(1)(i) and 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(i)(E)(1), are read to include Taiwan. This is consistent with the United States’ one-China policy, under which the United States has maintained unofficial relations with Taiwan since 1979.

    This notice does not affect the status of H-2 beneficiaries who currently are in the United States unless they apply to extend their status. It does apply to nonimmigrants changing status in the United States to H-2A or B. Each country’s designation is valid, subject to removal for failure to meet the requirements for continued designation, from Jan. 19, 2020, until Jan. 18, 2021. 

    For more information on these programs, see the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers and H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers pages on our website.

  • Type: Visa Bulletin
    Post date: Jan 19th 2020
    Body:

    Number 38
    Volume X
    Washington, D.C

    View as Printer Friendly PDF

    A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

    This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during February 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 below 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. 

    1.  Procedures for determining dates. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; USCIS reports applicants for adjustment of status. Allocations in the charts below were made, to the extent possible, in chronological order of reported priority dates, for demand received by January 9th. If not all demand could be satisfied, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed. The final action date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits. If it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a final action date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new final action date announced in this bulletin. If at any time an annual limit were reached, it would be necessary to immediately make the preference category “unavailable”, and no further requests for numbers would be honored.

    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.  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, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, INDIA, MEXICO, PHILIPPINES, and VIETNAM.

    4.  Section 203(a) of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of Family-sponsored immigrant visas as follows: 

    FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES

    First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. 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, plus any unused first preference numbers:

    A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents:  77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

    B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents:  23% of the overall second preference limitation.

    Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:  23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

    Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens:  65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

    A.  FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES

    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 authorized for issuance to all qualified applicants; and "U" means unauthorized, i.e., numbers are not authorized for issuance. (NOTE: Numbers are authorized for issuance only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the final action date listed below.)

     

    Family-
    Sponsored 
    All Chargeability 
    Areas Except
    Those Listed
    CHINA-mainland 
    born
    INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 
    F1 22AUG13 22AUG13 22AUG13 22AUG97 01APR09
    F2A C C C C C
    F2B 22AUG14 22AUG14 22AUG14 15SEP98 01MAY09
    F3 22NOV07 22NOV07 22NOV07 22MAR96 01MAY99
    F4 01JUL06 01JUL06 22NOV04 15JAN98 01JUL99
    22MAR05
    22MAR05
    22DEC10
    01FEB16
    01FEB16

     

     

    B.  DATES FOR FILING FAMILY-SPONSORED VISA APPLICATIONS

    The chart below reflects dates for filing visa applications within a timeframe justifying immediate action in the application process. Applicants for immigrant visas who have a priority date earlier than the application date in the chart below may assemble and submit required documents to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, following receipt of notification from the National Visa Center containing detailed instructions. The application date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who cannot submit documentation to the National Visa Center for an immigrant visa. If a category is designated “current,” all applicants in the relevant category may file applications, regardless of priority date.

    The “C” listing indicates that the category is current, and that applications may be filed regardless of the applicant’s priority date. The listing of a date for any category indicates that only applicants with a priority date which is earlier than the listed date may file their application.

    Visit www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo for information on whether USCIS has determined that this chart can be used (in lieu of the chart in paragraph 4.A.) this month for filing applications for adjustment of status with USCIS. 

    Family-
    Sponsored 
    All Chargeability 
    Areas Except
    Those Listed
    CHINA-
    mainland 
    born
    INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 
    F1 22MAR14 22MAR14 22MAR14 15NOV99 01OCT09
    F2A 01DEC19 01DEC19 01DEC19 01DEC19 01DEC19
    F2B 22APR15 22APR15 22APR15 15MAY99 01NOV09
    F3 22JUL08 22JUL08 22JUL08 15JUL00 01NOV99
    F4 22JUL07 22JUL07 22JUL05 01JAN99 01JAN00

    5.  Section 203(b) of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of Employment-based immigrant visas as follows: 

    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 Pub. L. 102-395.

    A.  FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES

    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 authorized for issuance to all qualified applicants; and "U" means unauthorized, i.e., numbers are not authorized for issuance. (NOTE: Numbers are authorized for issuance only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the final action date listed below.)

     

    Employment-
    based
    All Chargeability 
    Areas Except
    Those Listed
    CHINA-
    mainland 
    born
    EL SALVADOR
    GUATEMALA
    HONDURAS
    INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES VIETNAM
    1st 01DEC18 22MAY17 01DEC18 01JAN15 01DEC18 01DEC18 01DEC18
    2nd C 15JUL15 C 19MAY09 C C C
    3rd C 01JAN16 C 08JAN09 C 01JUN18 C
    Other Workers C 01MAY08 C 08JAN09 C 01JUN18 C
    4th C C 01JUL16 C 01SEP17 C C
    Certain Religious Workers C C 01JUL16 C 01SEP17 C C
    5th Non-Regional Center
    (C5 and T5)
    C 01DEC14 C 01SEP18 C C 15DEC16
    5th Regional Center
    (I5 and R5)
    C 01DEC14 C 01SEP18 C C 15DEC16

     

    *Employment Third Preference Other Workers Category:  Section 203(e) of the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997, 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 final action date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002. For Fiscal Year 2020 this reduction will be limited to approximately 350.

    B.  DATES FOR FILING OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISA APPLICATIONS

    The chart below reflects dates for filing visa applications within a timeframe justifying immediate action in the application process. Applicants for immigrant visas who have a priority date earlier than the application date in the chart may assemble and submit required documents to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, following receipt of notification from the National Visa Center containing detailed instructions. The application date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who cannot submit documentation to the National Visa Center for an immigrant visa. If a category is designated “current,” all applicants in the relevant category may file, regardless of priority date.

    The “C” listing indicates that the category is current, and that applications may be filed regardless of the applicant’s priority date. The listing of a date for any category indicates that only applicants with a priority date which is earlier than the listed date may file their application.

    Visit www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo for information on whether USCIS has determined that this chart can be used (in lieu of the chart in paragraph 5.A.) this month for filing applications for adjustment of status with USCIS. 

    Employment-
    based
    All Chargeability
    Areas Except
    Those Listed
    CHINA-
    mainland 
    born
    EL SALVADOR
    GUATEMALA
    HONDURAS
    INDIA MEXICO  PHILIPPINES 
    1st C 01OCT17 C 15MAR17 C C
    2nd C 01AUG16 C 01JUL09  C C
    3rd 01JAN19 01MAR17 01JAN19 01FEB10 01JAN19 01JAN19
    Other Workers 01JAN19 01AUG08 01JAN19 01FEB10 01JAN19 01JAN19
    4th C C 15AUG16 C C C
    Certain Religious Workers C C 15AUG16 C C C
    5th Non-Regional Center
    (C5 and T5)
    C 15MAY15 C C C C
    5th Regional Center
    (I5 and R5)
    C 15MAY15 C C C C

    6.  The Department of State has a recorded message with the Final Action date information which can be heard at:  (202) 485-7699.  This recording is updated on or about the tenth of each month with information on final action dates for the following month.

    B.  DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY

    Section 203(c) of the INA provides up to 55,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year to permit additional immigration opportunities for persons from countries with low admissions during the previous five years. The NACARA 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 will result in reduction of the DV-2020 annual limit to approximately 54,650. 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-2020 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:

    Region All DV Chargeability Areas Except
    Those Listed Separately
     
    AFRICA 25,000 Except:  Egypt  16,000
    ASIA 12,000

    Except:  Iran     6,500
                  Nepal  7,575

    EUROPE 14,000  
    NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS)  8  
    OCEANIA 1,350  
    SOUTH AMERICA,
    and the CARIBBEAN
    1,150  

    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-2020 program ends as of September 30, 2020. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2020 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2020 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2020. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2020 cannot be taken for granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.

    C.  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-2020 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:

    Region All DV Chargeability Areas Except
    Those Listed Separately
     
    AFRICA 31,500 Except:  Egypt  22,000
    ASIA 12,500 Except:  Iran     7,600
                   Nepal  8,800
    EUROPE 21,000  
    NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS)  9  
    OCEANIA 1,625  
    SOUTH AMERICA,
    and the CARIBBEAN
    1,300  

    D.  RETROGRESSION OF THE “REST OF WORLD” FAMILY FOURTH PREFERENCE FINAL ACTION DATE

    As reported in item E of the January Visa Bulletin (number 37), the final action date for the “Rest of World” Family Fourth preference (F4) had been advanced at a very rapid pace during the past two years to generate the required level of demand.  The dramatic increase in the level of applicant demand currently being received has required the retrogression of that final action date for the month of February.  This has been done in an effort to hold number use within the annual numerical limitation.  It is likely that this date will remain in effect for at least the next several months.

    E.  EMPLOYMENT-BASED THIRD AND THIRD OTHER WORKER VISA AVAILABILTY FOR MARCH

    Since October there has been a consistently high level of Employment-based demand, primarily for adjustment of status cases filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  This trend is particularly apparent in the Employment Third and Third preference Other Worker categories.  Unless there is a sudden and dramatic decrease in the level of such demand, it will be necessary to implement a “Rest of World” final action date for the month of March.

    F.  OBTAINING THE MONTHLY VISA BULLETIN

    To be placed on the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the “Visa Bulletin”, please send an E-mail to the following E-mail address:

    listserv@calist.state.gov

    and in the message body type:
    Subscribe Visa-Bulletin 
    (example: Subscribe Visa-Bulletin)

    To be removed from the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the “Visa Bulletin”, send an e-mail message to the following E-mail address:

    listserv@calist.state.gov

    and in the message body type: Signoff Visa-Bulletin

    The Department of State also has available a recorded message with visa final action dates which can be heard at: (202) 485-7699. The recording is normally updated on/about the 10th of each month with information on final action dates for the following month.

    Readers may submit questions regarding Visa Bulletin related items by E-mail at the following address:

    VISABULLETIN@STATE.GOV

    (This address cannot be used to subscribe to the Visa Bulletin.)

    Department of State Publication 9514
    CA/VO:   January 9, 2020