"Annual Immigrant Visa Waiting List Report as of November 1, 2016"

Annual Immigrant Visa Waiting List Report as of November 1, 2016 is a 15-page legal document that was released by the U.S. Department of State on November 1, 2016 and used nation-wide.

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Annual Report of Immigrant Visa Applicants in the Family-sponsored and
Employment-based preferences Registered at the National Visa Center
as of November 1, 2016
Most prospective immigrant visa applicants qualify for status under the law on the basis of
family relationships or employer sponsorship. Entitlement to visa processing in these classes is
established ordinarily through approval by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
of a petition filed on the applicant's behalf. The petitions of applicants who will be processed at
an overseas post are forwarded by USCIS to the Department of State; applicants in categories
subject to numerical limit are registered on the visa waiting list. Each case is assigned a priority
(i.e., registration) date based on the filing date accorded to the petition. Visa issuance within each
numerically limited category is possible only if the applicant's priority date is within the
applicable final action dates which are published each month by the Department of State in the
Visa Bulletin. Family and Employment preference applicants compete for visa numbers within
their respective categories on a worldwide basis according to priority date; a per-country limit on
such preference immigrants set by INA 202 places a maximum on the amount of visas which
may be issued in a single year to applicants from any one country, however.
In October, the Department of State asked the National Visa Center (NVC) at Portsmouth, New
Hampshire to report the totals of applicants on the waiting list in the various numerically-limited
immigrant categories. Applications for adjustment of status under INA 245 which are pending at
USCIS Offices are not included in the tabulation of the immigrant waiting list data which is
being provided at this time. As such, the following figures ONLY reflect petitions which the
Department of State has received, and do not include the significant number of applications held
with the USCIS Offices.
The following figures have been compiled from the NVC report submitted to the Department on
November 1, 2016, and show the number of immigrant visa applicants on the waiting list in the
various preferences and subcategories subject to numerical limit. All figures reflect persons
registered under each respective numerical limitation, i.e., the totals represent not only principal
applicants or petition beneficiaries, but their spouses and children entitled to derivative status
under INA 203(d) as well.
Annual Report of Immigrant Visa Applicants in the Family-sponsored and
Employment-based preferences Registered at the National Visa Center
as of November 1, 2016
Most prospective immigrant visa applicants qualify for status under the law on the basis of
family relationships or employer sponsorship. Entitlement to visa processing in these classes is
established ordinarily through approval by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
of a petition filed on the applicant's behalf. The petitions of applicants who will be processed at
an overseas post are forwarded by USCIS to the Department of State; applicants in categories
subject to numerical limit are registered on the visa waiting list. Each case is assigned a priority
(i.e., registration) date based on the filing date accorded to the petition. Visa issuance within each
numerically limited category is possible only if the applicant's priority date is within the
applicable final action dates which are published each month by the Department of State in the
Visa Bulletin. Family and Employment preference applicants compete for visa numbers within
their respective categories on a worldwide basis according to priority date; a per-country limit on
such preference immigrants set by INA 202 places a maximum on the amount of visas which
may be issued in a single year to applicants from any one country, however.
In October, the Department of State asked the National Visa Center (NVC) at Portsmouth, New
Hampshire to report the totals of applicants on the waiting list in the various numerically-limited
immigrant categories. Applications for adjustment of status under INA 245 which are pending at
USCIS Offices are not included in the tabulation of the immigrant waiting list data which is
being provided at this time. As such, the following figures ONLY reflect petitions which the
Department of State has received, and do not include the significant number of applications held
with the USCIS Offices.
The following figures have been compiled from the NVC report submitted to the Department on
November 1, 2016, and show the number of immigrant visa applicants on the waiting list in the
various preferences and subcategories subject to numerical limit. All figures reflect persons
registered under each respective numerical limitation, i.e., the totals represent not only principal
applicants or petition beneficiaries, but their spouses and children entitled to derivative status
under INA 203(d) as well.
Family-sponsored Preferences
as of
as of
% of Change
Category
Nov. 1, 2015 Nov. 1, 2016 From 2015 Totals
FAMILY FIRST
322,788
310,884
(-3.7%)
FAMILY SECOND TOTAL
756,777
700,212
(-7.5%)
2A-Spouses/Children:
276,022
276,839
(+0.3%)
2B- Adult Sons/Daughters:
480,755
423,373
(-11.9%)
FAMILY THIRD
825,991
781,810
(-5.3%)
FAMILY FOURTH
2,549,718
2,466,667
(-3.3%)
TOTAL
4,455,274
4,259,573
(-4.4%)
Number of Applicants on Waiting List in
Family-sponsored Preference Categories
As of Nov. 1, 2015 vs. As of Nov. 1, 2016
2,750,000
2,500,000
2,250,000
2,000,000
1,750,000
1,500,000
1,250,000
1,000,000
750,000
500,000
250,000
0
F1
F2A
F2B
F3
F4
2015
322,788
276,022
480,755
825,991
2,549,718
2016
310,884
276,839
423,373
781,810
2,466,667
Employment-based Preferences
as of
as of
% of Change
Category
Nov. 1, 2015 Nov. 1, 2016 From 2015 Totals
EMPLOYMENT FIRST
3,474
3,801
(+9.4%)
EMPLOYMENT SECOND
11,440
14,370
(+25.6%)
EMPLOYMENT THIRD TOTAL
67,792
64,325
(-5.1%)
Skilled Workers:
61,584
55,521
(-9.8%)
Other Workers:
6,208
8,804
(+41.8%)
EMPLOYMENT FOURTH TOTAL
379
354
(-6.6%)
EMPLOYMENT FIFTH TOTAL
17,662
24,629
(+39.4%)
TOTAL
100,747
107,479
(+6.7%)
GRAND TOTAL
4,556,021
4,367,052
(-4.1%)
Number of Applicants on Waiting List in
Employment-based Preference Categories
As of Nov. 1, 2015 vs. As of Nov. 1, 2016
65,000
60,000
55,000
50,000
45,000
40,000
35,000
30,000
25,000
20,000
15,000
10,000
5,000
0
E1
E2
E3
EW
E4
E5
2015
3,474
11,440
61,584
6,208
379
17,662
2016
3,801
14,370
55,521
8,804
354
24,629
Immigrant Waiting List
By Country
Immigrant visa issuances during fiscal year 2017 will be limited by the terms of INA 201 to no
more than 226,000 in the family-sponsored preferences and 140,000 in the employment-based
preferences. (Visas for "Immediate Relatives" - i.e., spouses, unmarried children under the age of
21 years, and parents of U.S. citizens - are not subject to numerical limitation, however.)
It should by no means be assumed that once an applicant is registered, the case is then
continually included in the waiting list totals unless and until a visa is issued. The consular
procedures mandate a regular culling of visa cases to remove from the count those unlikely to see
further action, so that totals are not unreasonably inflated.
The twelve countries with the highest number of waiting list registrants in FY 2017 are listed
below; together these represent 78.0% of the total. This list includes all countries with at least
50,000 persons on the waiting list. There is a seven percent per-country limit, which visa
issuances to any single country may not exceed. This limit serves to avoid the potential
monopolization of virtually all the annual limitation by applicants from only a few countries.
That limitation is not a quota to which any particular country is entitled, however. For FY 2017
the per-country limit will be 25,620.
Country
Applicants
Mexico
1,309,282
Philippines
387,323
India
331,423
Vietnam
266,297
China-mainland born
252,497
Dominican Republic
199,055
Bangladesh
179,504
Pakistan
127,768
Haiti
115,580
Cuba
106,351
El Salvador
78,947
Jamaica
54,398
All Others
958,627
Worldwide Total
4,367,052
Immigrant Waiting List
By Preference Category
FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES
Family FIRST Preference:
The worldwide Family FIRST preference numerical limitation is 23,400. The top ten countries
with the highest F1 waiting list totals are:
Family First
Percent of
Preference
Category
Country
Total
Waiting List
Mexico
107,380
34.5%
Dominican Republic
26,781
8.6%
Philippines
19,863
6.4%
Haiti
17,152
5.5%
Jamaica
16,346
5.3%
El Salvador
11,247
3.6%
Cuba
7,037
2.3%
Colombia
6,412
2.1%
Vietnam
6,265
2.0%
Guyana
5,915
1.9%
All Others
86,486
27.8%
Total
310,884
100%
Cases are being added to the waiting list in this category not only by the approval of new FIRST
preference petitions, but also through automatic conversion of pending 2B cases into FIRST
preference upon the naturalization of the petitioner.
The prospect for increasing future demand in the FIRST preference could result in slower
advances in the worldwide final action date as a consequence. Only two countries, Mexico and
Philippines, have FIRST preference final action dates which are earlier than the worldwide date.
(NOTE: A Family 2B petition automatically converts to a Family FIRST petition if the petitioner
naturalizes. However, Section 6 of the Child Status Protection Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-208,
provides relief for Family 2B applicants who would be disadvantaged by a conversion to Family
FIRST status due to a less favorable Family FIRST final action date).