Visa Bulletin – How Employment Preference Cut-Off Dates are determined?

Department of State Visa Office provided explanation of its monthly determination of employment preference cut-of dates and data used in determining employment based cut-off dates for December 2010.

Each month, the State Department subdivides the annual preference and foreign state limitations specified by the Immigration and Nationality Act into monthly allotments based on totals of documentarily qualified Immigrant Visa applicants reported at consular posts and Immigration Offices, grouped by foreign state chargeability, preference category, and priority date.

If there are sufficient numbers in a category to satisfy all reported documentarily qualified demand, the category is considered “Current.” For example: If the monthly allocation target is 3,000 and there is only demand for 1,000, the category will be “Current”. Whenever the total of documentarily qualified applicants in a category exceeds the supply of numbers available for the particular month, the category is “oversubscribed” and a visa availability cut-off date is established. The cut-off date is the priority date of the first documentarily qualified applicant who could not be accommodated for a visa number.

For example: If the monthly target is 3,000 and there is demand for 8,000 applicants, then it would be necessary to establish a cut-off date so that only 3,000 numbers would be allocated. In this case, the cut-off would be the priority date of the 3,001st applicant.

Click here for a detailed chart with to demonstrate the above examples. Download file