Visa Bulletin September 2021

Visa Bulletin For September 2021

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during September 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 August 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.  The fiscal year 2021 limit for family-sponsored preference immigrants determined in accordance with Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is 226,000.  The fiscal year 2021 limit for employment-based preference immigrants calculated under INA 201 is 262,288.  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., 34,180 for FY-2021.  The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 9,766.

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 on 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 01DEC14 01DEC14 01DEC14 15JAN99 01MAR12
F2A C C C C C
F2B 22SEP15 22SEP15 22SEP15 15MAR00 22OCT11
F3 22NOV08 22NOV08 22NOV08 15MAY97 08JUN02
F4 22MAR07 22MAR07 15SEP05 08FEB99 22AUG02

 

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 15MAY16 15MAY16 15MAY16 01AUG00 22APR15
F2A 01JUN21 01JUN21 01JUN21 01JUN21 01JUN21
F2B 22SEP16 22SEP16 22SEP16 01OCT00 01OCT13
F3 22AUG09 22AUG09 22AUG09 08SEP00 01OCT03
F4 01OCT07 01OCT07 01JAN06 01JUN99 01FEB04

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, of which not more than 10,000 may be provided 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 are reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 are 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 C C C C C C C
2nd C 01JUL18 C 01SEP11 C C C
3rd C 08JAN19 C 01JAN14 C C C
Other Workers C 01FEB10 C 01JAN14 C C C
4th C C 15MAR19 C 01MAR20 C C
Certain Religious Workers C C 15MAR19 C 01MAR20 C C
5th Non-Regional Center
(C5 and T5)
C 22NOV15 C C C C C
5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
U U U U U U U

 

*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 2021 this reduction will be limited to approximately 150.

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 C C C C C
2nd C 01SEP18 C 01DEC11 C C
3rd C 01JUL19 C 01MAR14 C C
Other Workers C 01MAY10 C 01MAR14 C C
4th C C 15MAY19 C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C 15MAY19 C C C
5th Non-Regional Center
(C5 and T5)
C 15DEC15 C C C C
5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
C 15DEC15 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 seventeenth of each month with information on final action dates for the following month.

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

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-2021 annual limit to approximately 54,850. 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 September, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2021 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 CURRENT
ASIA CURRENT  
EUROPE CURRENT
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) CURRENT
OCEANIA CURRENT
SOUTH AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN
CURRENT

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-2021 program ends as of September 30, 2021. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2021 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2021 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2021. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2021 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 OCTOBER

For October, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2022 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 2,675 Except:  Egypt  1,850
ASIA 1,400 Except:  Iran      800
Nepal  900
EUROPE 2,300
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 3
OCEANIA 190
SOUTH AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN
275

D.  EXPIRATION OF THE EMPLOYMENT-BASED FIFTH PREFERENCE I5 and R5 REGIONAL CENTER VISA CATEGORIES

Division O, Title 1, Section 104 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 extended the immigrant investor pilot program until June 30, 2021.  No I5 or R5 visas may be issued overseas or final action taken on adjustment of status cases after June 30, 2021.

The final action dates for the I5 and R5 categories have been listed as “Unavailable” for September.

If there is legislative action extending this category for September, the final action dates would immediately become “Current” for September for all countries except China-mainland born I5 and R5, which would be subject to a November 22, 2015 final action date.

E.  DETERMINATION OF THE NUMERICAL LIMITS ON IMMIGRANTS REQUIRED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT (INA)

The State Department is required to make the determination of the worldwide numerical limitations, as outlined in Section 201(c) and (d) of the INA, on an annual basis.  These calculations are based in part on data provided by U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding the number of immediate relative adjustments in the preceding year and the number of aliens paroled into the United States under Section 212(d)(5) in the second preceding year.  Without this information, it is impossible to make an official determination of the annual limits.  To avoid delays in processing while waiting for the USCIS data, the Visa Office (VO) bases allocations on reasonable estimates of the anticipated amount of visa numbers to be available under the annual limits, in accordance with Section 203(g) of the INA.  On July 7th, USCIS provided the required data to the VO.

The Department of State has determined the Family and Employment preference numerical limits for FY-2021 in accordance with the terms of Section 201 of the INA.  These numerical limitations for FY-2021 are as follows:

Worldwide Family-Sponsored preference limit:          226,000

Worldwide Employment-Based preference limit:        262,288

Under INA Section 202(a), the per-country limit is fixed at 7% of the family and employment annual limits.  For FY-2021 the per-country limit is 34,180.  The dependent area annual limit is 2%, or 9,766.

F.  FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON VISA PROCESSING AT U.S. EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PLEASE VISIT THE BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS WEBSITE AT TRAVEL.STATE.GOV

G.  @TRAVELGOV BEGINS HOSTING MONTHLY YOUTUBE LIVE “CHATS WITH CHARLIE”

@TravelGov will be hosting “Chats with Charlie” on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/TravelGov) to discuss information provided in the monthly Visa Bulletin.  This month’s chat is scheduled to take place on August 19, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. EST to discuss the September Visa Bulletin.  Questions can be emailed to VisaBulletin@state.gov ahead of the event with “Chat with Charlie Question” in the subject line.  Questions will also be taken via the YouTube Live Chat and will be answered in real-time.  The event is intended to address issues of general interest related to the content of the Visa Bulletin, and no policy, case, or post-specific questions will be accepted.

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:   September, 2021

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