The U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently released the Visa Bulletin for May 2018. The Bulletin includes information on the diversity visa cut-offs, the Special Immigrant translator visa availability, and oversubscription of the Vietnam EB-5 category.
As of April 11, 2018, USCIS has not advised whether in May 2018, it will accept adjustment of status applications for family- or employment-based petitions based on filing dates, rather than final action dates. USCIS anticipates that this information will be released within one week of the monthly Visa Bulletin.
Diversity Visa Cut-Offs for May 2018
Immigration law provides up to 55,000 Diversity Visas (DV) each fiscal year to permit additional immigration opportunities for persons from countries with low admissions during the previous five years. Under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA), up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NACARA program. This resulted in the reduction of the DV-2018 annual limit 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 May 2018, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2018 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows.
- AFRICA - 24,800; except Egypt: 16,400 and Ethiopia: 23,600
- EUROPE - 18,050
- ASIA - 6,425; except Nepal: 5,300
- SOUTH AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN - 1,100
- OCEANIA - 1,025
- NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) - 14
Special Immigrant Translator Visa Availability
Due to limited availability of visa numbers and the existing demand, the DOS expects to reach the annual limit of 50 Special Immigrant Visas early in FY-2018. As a result, it has been necessary to maintain a May Final Action Date of April 22, 2012, and expects that it will require this category to become “unavailable” in the coming months.
Once the annual limit of 50 visas is reached, visa issuance in this category will not be possible until October 2018, under the next fiscal year's 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.
Oversubscription of the Vietnam EB-5 Visa Category
Continued heavy applicant demand will result in the Vietnam Employment Fifth preference (EB-5) category reaching the per-country annual limit during April. As a result, it has been necessary to impose a final action date on this preference for the month of May to control number use for the remainder of the fiscal year. It can be expected that the Vietnam Employment Fifth preference category will remain subject to a final action date for the foreseeable future.
If you are affected by these developments and would like information about the process, please contact us. We are here to help. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Tumblr for up-to-date immigration news.
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