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Visa Bulletin

The number of visas that are available for immigrants coming to the United States is limited under the law. The limitations are determined annually and then a monthly visa bulliten is published based on the number of visas used. The visa bulletin is used to determine when a visa is available. As an example this is the visa bulliten for September 2023.

The Department of State has determined the Family and Employment preference numerical limits for FY-2023 in accordance with the terms of Section 201 of the INA. Under INA Section 202(a), the per-country limit is fixed at 7% of the family and employment annual limits.  For FY-2023 the per-country limit is 29,616.  The dependent area annual limit is 2%, or 8,462. These numerical limitations for FY-2023 are as follows:

Worldwide Family-Sponsored preference limit:          226,000
Worldwide Employment-Based preference limit:        197,091

STATUTORY NUMBERS FOR PREFERENCE IMMIGRANT VISAS

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 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. 

IMMEDIATE RELATIVES

Immediate relative petitions are not subject to the family-sponsor preferences. Immediate relative visas are available once approved. Immediate relatives are considered to be:

  • The spouse of a U.S. citizen;
  • The unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen; or
  • The parent of a U.S. citizen (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older).

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES

All other family-sponsored visas are in preference categories. The preference categories will determine when the visa will become available. The family-sponsored preference categories are as follows:

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.

September 2023

FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES

Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES 
F101JAN1501JAN1501JAN1522APR0101MAR12
F2A01JAN1801JAN1801JAN1801SEP1601JAN18
F2B22SEP1522SEP1522SEP1501AUG0122OCT11
F308JAN0908JAN0908JAN0915JAN9808JUN02
F422APR0722APR0715SEP0501AUG0022AUG02

Visa Bulletin For September 2023
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin.html

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.

***Special Immigrant Juvenile I-360 Petitions also use this preference category, read more.

Fifth:  Employment Creation:  7.1% of the worldwide level, of which 32% are reserved as follows: 20% reserved for qualified immigrants who invest in a rural area; 10% reserved for qualified immigrants who invest in a high unemployment area; and 2% reserved for qualified immigrants who invest in infrastructure projects. The remaining 68% are unreserved and are allotted for all other qualified immigrants.

FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES

Employment-
based
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland 
born
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
1st01AUG2301FEB2201JAN1201AUG2301AUG23
2nd01JUL2208JUL1901JAN1101JUL2201JUL22
3rd01MAY2001SEP1901JAN0901MAY2001MAY20
Other Workers01MAY2001SEP1501JAN0901MAY2001MAY20
4th01SEP1801SEP1801SEP1801SEP1801SEP18
Certain Religious Workers01SEP1801SEP1801SEP1801SEP1801SEP18
5th Unreserved
(including C5, T5, I5, R5)
C08SEP1501APR17CC
5th Set Aside:
Rural (20%)
CCCCC
5th Set Aside:
High Unemployment (10%)
CCCCC
5th Set Aside:
Infrastructure (2%)
CCCCC
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin.html

DIVERSITY VISAS

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-2023 annual limit to approximately 54,833.  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-2023 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
AFRICACurrentExcept:  Algeria     45,000
              Egypt        43,200
              Morocco   63,400
ASIA21,000Except:  Iran     16,000
              Nepal  21,000
EUROPE32,000Except:  Russia         32,000
               Uzbekistan  17,000
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) Current 
OCEANIA2,500 
SOUTH AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN
3,150 
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin.html

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-2023 program ends as of September 30, 2023. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2023 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2023 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2023. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2023 cannot be taken for granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.

The following is the statistical breakdown by foreign state of chargeability of those registered for the DV-2024 program: 

AFRICA
ALGERIA  5,142ERITREA  211MOZAMBIQUE  7
ANGOLA  582ESWATINI  2NAMIBIA  10
BENIN  1,002ETHIOPIA  3,034NIGER  93
BOTSWANA  16GABON  86RWANDA  1,604
BURKINA FASO 191GAMBIA, THE  156SENEGAL  504
BURUNDI  876GHANA  2,088SIERRA LEONE  735
CABO VERDE  15GUINEA  1,362SOMALIA  2,383
CAMEROON  3,485GUINEA-BISSAU  21SOUTH AFRICA  199
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC  30KENYA  3,760SOUTH SUDAN  59
CHAD  490LIBERIA  2,208SUDAN  5,435
COMOROS  10LIBYA  257TANZANIA  348
CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE  2,580MADAGASCAR  25TOGO  2,105
CONGO, REPUBLIC OF THE  660MALAWI  42TUNISIA  221
COTE D’IVOIRE  672MALI  119UGANDA  1,515
DJIBOUTI  333MAURITANIA  274ZAMBIA  85
EGYPT  5,509MAURITIUS  4ZIMBABWE  216
EQUATORIAL GUINEA  19MOROCCO  4,250
ASIA
AFGHANISTAN  4,536JORDAN  1,188SAUDI ARABIA  619
BAHRAIN  8KUWAIT  162SINGAPORE  6
BHUTAN  347LAOS  27SRI LANKA  2,622
BURMA  1,667LEBANON  214SYRIA  692
CAMBODIA  340MALAYSIA  32TAIWAN  279
INDONESIA  104MALDIVES  1THAILAND  467
IRAN  5,077MONGOLIA  300UNITED ARAB EMIRATES  211
IRAQ  1,348NEPAL  3,863YEMEN  3,485
ISRAEL  71OMAN  20 
JAPAN  200QATAR  74
EUROPE
ALBANIA  2,667GREECE  66NORWAY  9
ANDORRA  2HUNGARY  102POLAND  497
ARMENIA  3,869ICELAND  5PORTUGAL  39
AUSTRIA  34IRELAND  18  Macau  4
AZERBAIJAN  2,046ITALY  256ROMANIA  267
BELARUS  2,418KAZAKHSTAN  2,728RUSSIA  5,514
BELGIUM  35KOSOVO  463SERBIA  186
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA  31KYRGYZSTAN  4,464SLOVAKIA  33
BULGARIA  142LATVIA  97SLOVENIA  2
CROATIA  30LITHUANIA  106SPAIN  137
CYPRUS  25MALTA  1SWEDEN  31
CZECH REPUBLIC  46MOLDOVA  950SWITZERLAND  30
DENMARK  16MONACO  1TAJIKISTAN  3,580
ESTONIA  33MONTENEGRO  21TURKEY  3,684
FINLAND  29NETHERLANDS  39TURKMENISTAN  1,313
FRANCE  327  Aruba  1UKRAINE  4,286
  French Polynesia  1  Curacao  1UZBEKISTAN 5,555
  New Caledonia  4  Sint Maarten  1 
GEORGIA  3,194NORTH MACEDONIA  258 
GERMANY  466NORTHERN IRELAND  1 
NORTH AMERICA
BAHAMAS, THE  15
OCEANIA
AUSTRALIA  795NAURU  32SOLOMON ISLANDS  22
  Christmas Island  1NEW ZEALAND  256TONGA  246
  Cocos Keeling Islands  3  Cook Islands  69TUVALU  11
FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA  1PAPUA NEW GUINEA  15VANUATU  29
FIJI  2,936REPUBLIC OF PALAU  4 
KIRABATI  21SAMOA  9 
SOUTH AMERICA
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA  1CUBA  3,081PARAGUAY  9
ARGENTINA  127DOMINICA  6PERU  742
BARBADOS  4ECUADOR  814SAINT LUCIA  3
BELIZE  5GUATEMALA  146SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES  2
BOLIVIA  85GUYANA  9TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO  37
CHILE  51NICARAGUA  117URUGUAY  7
COSTA RICA  68PANAMA  17 
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