The Department of State (DOS) posted the Visa Bulletin for July 2018. In addition to the final action dates and dates for filing applications, the bulletin also includes notes on the diversity visa cut-offs, Special Immigrant translator visa availability, and retrogression of July employment-based final action dates.
To find out when to file your visa application for the month of July, click here for DOS Dates of Filing.
Diversity Visa Cut-offs
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 July 2018, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2018 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows.
- AFRICA - 38,000; except Egypt: 19,700
- EUROPE - 21,900
- ASIA - 10,500; except Nepal: 6,325
- SOUTH AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN - 1,425
- OCEANIA - 1,200
- NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) - 18
Special Immigrant Translator Visa Availability
Given the limited availability of visa numbers and the existing demand, the DOS 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 a July Final Action Date of April 22, 2012. It is likely that number use will require the SI category to become “unavailable” in the coming months. 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.
Retrogression of July Employment-Based Final Action Dates
MEXICO E4 and SR: The July Final Action Dates has retrogressed in an effort to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2018 annual limits. The Mexico E4 and SR dates will return to October 22, 2016 for October, the first month of fiscal year 2019.
CHINA E3: There has been an extremely large increase in Employment Third preference applicant demand during the past two months. This is due to the “downgrading” of status by applicants who had originally filed in the Employment Second preference. As a result, it has been necessary to retrogress the July Final Action Date to January 1, 2013 in an effort to hold number use within the FY-2018 per-country limit. The China E3 date will return to June 1, 2015 for October, the first month of fiscal year 2019.
In recent weeks there has been a steadily increasing level of Employment-based demand for adjustment of status cases filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. A continuation of the current demand pattern would result in a temporary establishment or retrogression of some final action dates in an effort to hold number use within the FY-2018 annual limits. Should such action be required, there would be a full recovery in the preference category for October, the first month of fiscal year 2019.
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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