Visa Bulletin for March 2014

This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during March. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status.

Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets an annual minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000. The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000. 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., 25,620. The dependent area limit is set at 2%,
or 7,320.

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 in 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, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.

To read more, click here.

Celebrating Presidents Day with Naturalization Ceremonies

On Feb. 17, we will celebrate Presidents Day to honor the birth of our nation’s first president, George Washington, and all presidents who have led this country. USCIS marks this occasion each year by holding special naturalization ceremonies across the country.

This year, they will welcome approximately 17,800 new citizens during 148 naturalization ceremonies between Feb. 14 and 22, 2014. A list of highlighted ceremonies is below.

Feb. 14, 2014 Philadelphia, PA USCIS Philadelphia Field Office
Feb. 17, 2014 Atlanta, GA Jimmy Carter Museum
Feb. 18, 2014 Buffalo, NY Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site
Feb. 18, 2014 Boston, MA JFK Library and Museum
Feb. 19, 2014 Columbia, SC US Army Training & Fort Jackson
Feb. 19, 2014 San Diego, CA San Diego Concourse, Golden Hall
Feb. 20, 2014 Campbell, CA Campbell Heritage Theater
Feb. 20, 2014 Fairfax, VA USCIS Washington Field Office
Feb. 20, 2014 Hartford, CT Hartford Public Library
Feb. 22, 2014 Alexandria, VA George Washington’s Gardens

Mayorkas v. Cuellar de Osorio

The Supreme Court of the United States recently heard arguments on an immigration case that will have lasting impacts for many immigrants looking to petition to the U.S. The facts of the case are rather simple — a derivative beneficiary (and son of an LPR) aged out during the pendency of his petition and did not retain his priority date, despite the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). The government contends that USCIS’ decision should be given deference and that the consequences of giving aged-out children their earlier priority date (and thereby automatic conversion of their visa) would impact the line of immigrants waiting for visas. The respondents contend that USCIS and subsequent court rulings are contrary to the intent of the CSPA and the spirit of immigration laws to keep families together. For more on this story, visit the SCOTUSblog here. Also, check back at our “News” section for updates and analysis on this case.