3.12.15

Applying for a Canadian Study Permit: A Step-by-Step Overview

Applying for a Canadian Study Permit: A Step-by-Step Overview

After searching for and applying to schools, you have finally received an acceptance letter to a Canadian educational institution. Congratulations! But before you start packing your bags, there is one important step still ahead of you: obtaining your Canadian Study Permit. A study permit is generally required before a student can come to Canada.
Here is a quick breakdown of the study permit application process:
1. Gather your documents
In order to submit a study permit application, you will need the following documents:
  • Proof of identity (passport, two passport sized photographs)
  • Acceptance letter from your school
  • Proof of funds for your stay in Canada
To prove funds, you must provide evidence that you can support yourself and any accompanying dependents during your time in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) states that this can be proved by one of the following:
  • Proof of a Canadian bank account in your name if money has been transferred to Canada;
  • Proof of a student/education loan from a financial institution;
  • Your bank statements for the past four months;
  • A bank draft in convertible currency;
  • Proof of payment of tuition and accommodation fees;
  • A letter from the person or institution providing you with money; and/or
  • Proof of funding paid from within Canada if you have a scholarship or are in a Canadian-funded educational program.
Keep in mind that certified translations will be needed for all documents not written in English or French.
2. If studying in Quebec, prepare materials for Certificat d’Acceptation du Quebec (CAQ)
In addition to a Study Permit, students in Quebec must receive a CAQ. The CAQ should be obtained before applying for a study permit. For more information on this document, please click here.
3. Determine where to submit your application
It is important to submit your application to the correct visa office. To search for visa offices around the world, please click here.
4. Find out if you need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)
Citizens of certain countries require a TRV to come to travel to Canada. This includes students. If citizens of your country require a TRV, you must obtain a TRV in addition to your Study Permit.
5. Prepare and submit Study Permit application
Once your application is ready, you should submit it to the appropriate visa office. If applying for a TRV, both the study permit and TRV applications may be submitted concurrently.
Be aware that, though not common, a visa officer may request an interview with you.
6. Pay processing fees
The Government of Canada requires $125 CAD to process a Study Permit application. This may be paid in Canadian dollars or local currency, depending on the visa office.
7. Complete medical exam, if needed
If your duration of study is less than six months, you will not be required to undergo a medical exam. If your duration of study will be longer than six months, you may need to undergo a medical exam if you have lived in one of the countries CIC has designated as requiring medical clearance. You may also need an exam if, as part of your studies, you will be working in a field related to public health.
CIC recommends submitting your medical exam results along with your Study Permit application in order to ensure faster processing.
8. Receive documents and arrive in Canada
You should not travel to Canada until you have received all necessary documentation. If your application is approved, you will receive a letter of approval for your study permit. Upon arrival at a Canadian port of entry (airport, land border, etc), you should present the following documents:
  • your letter of introduction from the visa office;
  • your passport or other valid travel documents;
  • the letter of acceptance from the school you will be attending;
  • proof of funds documents; and
  • your temporary resident visa, if required.
If you applied for a TRV, you will receive the TRV stamped into your passport when it is returned from the visa office.
Once you have arrived in Canada, you may begin your studies! This is likely not the end of your dealings with the government, however. Many students in Canada seek to work while studying, extend or change their study permits, or transition from a study permit to another form of residency in Canada. Stay tuned to CIC News as we explore these subjects in the future.

1.10.15

Eligibility Requirements for the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)

Eligibility Requirements for the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)

Under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP), you may qualify under one of three categories. Below are the detailed eligibility requirements under each of these three categories:

Saskatchewan Express Entry
The Saskatchewan Express Entry stream enables the province to nominate individuals who are in Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Express Entry pool and have the education, skilled work experience, language ability and other factors to help them to settle successfully and integrate into Saskatchewan’s labour market and communities.
As candidates are selected by the province from the federal Express Entry pool, all candidates must be eligible for one of the federal economic immigration programs:
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class

In addition, candidates must score at least 60 points on the SINP point assessment grid. Points are awarded on the basis of five factors:

  • education and training
  • skilled work experience
  • language ability
  • age
  • connections to the Saskatchewan labour market
Selection factorPoints
Education & TrainingMaximum 23 points
Work experienceMaximum 15 points
Language abilityMaximum 20 points
AgeMaximum 12 points
Arranged employment in Saskatchewan*Maximum 30 points
Pass mark:60 points
*High skilled employment offer (NOC skill level 0, A or B) or a designated trade in Saskatchewan.

Candidates must also:
  • demonstrate proficiency in an official language of Canada, either English or French, in order to enter the Express Entry pool. Language ability is determined by the candidate sitting a standardised language test, the most common of which are the IELTS or CELPIP for English and TEF for French; and
  • have completed a minimum of one year of post-secondary education or training that has resulted in a degree, diploma, certificate, or a certificate equivalent to a trade certificate and which is comparable to the Canadian education system, as verified by an Educational Credential Assessment.
A potential candidate must also demonstrate a minimum level of work experience related to his or her field of education or training. This work experience may be either:
  • at least one year of work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled profession (non-trades); or
  • at least two years of work experience in a skilled trade in the past five years; or
  • at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada in the past three years (trades and non-trades). This work experience must be in a high skilled occupation (NOC “0”, “A” or “B”) that is considered to be in-demand in Saskatchewan. The following occupations are considered in-demand.
NOCOccupationSkill Level
Mandatory
(compulsory)
certification or
licensing
Mandatory certification
0711Construction Managers0No
1111Financial auditors and accountantsANo
1232Loan OfficersBNo
1241Secretaries (except legal and medical)BNo
2131Civil EngineersAYes
2132Mechanical EngineersAYes
2133Electrical and Electronics EngineersAYes
2161Mathematicians, Statisticians, and ConsultantsANo
2171Information Systems Analysts and ConsultantsANo
2173Software Engineers and DesignersAYes
2174Computer Programmers and Interactive Media DevelopersANo
2211Chemical Technologists and TechniciansBNo
2221Biological Technologists and TechniciansBNo
2222Agricultural and Fish Products InspectorsBNo
2232Mechanical Engineering Technologists and TechniciansBNo
2234Construction EstimatorsBNo
2241Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and TechniciansBNo
2242Electronic Service Technicians (household and business equipment)BNo
2253Drafting Technologists and TechniciansBNo
2254Land Survey Technologists and TechniciansBNo
2281Computer Network TechniciansBNo
2282User Support TechniciansBNo
2283Systems Testing TechniciansBNo
4121University ProfessorsANo
4163Business Development Officers and Marketing Researchers and ConsultantsANo
6221Technical Sales Specialists, Wholesale TradeBNo
7215Contractors and Supervisors, carpentry tradesBNo
7217Contractors and Supervisors, Heavy Construction Equipment CrewsBNo
7219Contractors and Supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicersBNo
7222Supervisors, motor transport and other ground transit operatorsBNo
7231Machinists and Machining and Tooling inspectorsBNo
7232Tool and Die MakersBNo
7241Electricians (except industrial and power system)BYes
7242Industrial ElectriciansBYes
7246Telecommunications Installation and Repair WorkersBNo
7251PlumbersBYes
7252Steamfitters, Pipefitters and Sprinkler System InstallersBNo
7261Sheet Metal WorkersBYes
7263Structural Metal and Platework Fabricators and FittersBNo
7265Welders and Related Machine OperatorsBNo
7271CarpentersBNo
7281BricklayersBNo
7282Concrete FinishersBNo
7283TilesettersBNo
7284Plasterers, Drywall Installers, Finishers and LathersBNo
7291Roofers and ShinglersBNo
7292GlaziersBNo
7293InsulatorsBNo
7294Painters and DecoratorsBNo
7295Floor Covering InstallersBNo
7311Construction Millwrights and Industrial Mechanics (except textile)BNo
7312Heavy-duty Equipment MechanicsBNo
7313Refrigeration and Air Conditioning MechanicsBYes
7316Machine FittersBNo
7321Automotive Service Technicians, Truck and Bus Mechanics and Mechanical RepairersBNo
7322Motor Vehicle Body RepairersBNo
8232Oil and Gas Drillers, Servicers, Testers and Related WorkersBNo
8253Farm Supervisors and Specialized Livestock WorkersBNo
9212Supervisors, Petroleum, Gas and Chemcial Processing and UtilitiesBNo
9213Supervisors, Food, Beverage and Tobacco ProcessingBNo

International Skilled Worker Category 

A maximum of 250 applications will be accepted under this stream in 2014 from applicants without a job offer. Individuals may be eligible under this category if they meet the following criteria:
  • Live outside of Canada or have proof of legal status in Canada
  • Score at least 60 points on a 100 point assessment grid
  • Have at least one year of work experience in the past ten years in intended occupation
  • Score a minimum of CLB 4 in all language abilities (speaking, reading, writing, listening)
  • Provide one of the following:
    • A permanent, full-time job offer in a skilled occupation from an approved Saskatchewan employer; or
    • Proof that they meet the following requirements:
    • Field of education is in a skilled occupation
    • Completed post-secondary education of at least one year in length
    • If occupation is regulated, proof of appropriate Saskatchewan qualification
    • Proof of settlement funds and a settlement plan

Saskatchewan Experience Category
This category is broken down into five industry-specific streams. They are:
  • Existing Work Permit;
  • Health Professionals;
  • Hospitality Sector Pilot Project;
  • Long Haul Truck Drivers; and
  • Students
Applicants to all sub-streams must meet the Saskatchewan Experience Category criteria. Each sub-stream has additional eligibility criteria as well.
Existing Work Permit stream applicants must meet the following criteria:
  • Provide proof of legal status in Canada
  • Provide proof that they are not refugee claimants
  • Demonstrate that they have worked in Saskatchewan for at least six months in an NOC A or 0 level job, or a designated Saskatchewan trade
Health Professionals must meet the following criteria:
  • Proof that they have been practicing in Saskatchewan for at least six months
  • Have a qualifying offer of employment
Applicants to the Hospitality Sector Pilot Project must meet the following criteria:
  • Fall under one of the following NOCs
    • Food/Beverage Server (NOC6453)
    • Food Counter Attendant/Kitchen Helper (NOC6641)
    • Housekeeping/Cleaning Staff (NOC 6661)
  • Be working in one of the above NOCs in Saskatchewan for at least six months
Long Haul Truck Drivers must meet the following criteria:
  • Already be working in Saskatchewan for an approved trucking service for a period of at least six months.
Applicants to the Student stream must meet the following requirements:
  • Graduate from a post-secondary institution in Canada with a diploma or degree
  • Have at least six months work experience (for Saskatchewan graduates) or 12 months work experience (for Canada graduates) in Saskatchewan
  • Have applied for a Post-Graduate Open Work Permit
  • Have a qualifying job offer in Saskatchewan
  • Meet minimum language requirements (if job is semi- or unskilled)

Entrepreneur and Farm Category
This category is comprised of three sub-categories. They are:
  • Entrepreneur
  • Farm Owners/Operators
  • Young Farmers

23.3.15

Canadian Work Permits for Entrepreneurs

Canadian Work Permits for Entrepreneurs

Foreign entrepreneurs have a range of options to come to Canada. With their innovative ideas and unique business expertise, these individuals help to drive economic growth across the country.
Several Canadian permanent resident immigration programs target entrepreneurs, but the process can be lengthy. For many entrepreneurs, the fastest way to enter Canada is by obtaining a temporary work permit. Once in the country, they can often leverage their Canadian work experience to support an application for permanent residency.
The temporary foreign worker program includes several options designed to bring entrepreneurial talent to Canada. Choosing the right program under which to apply is of the utmost importance. Below is a brief overview of the temporary work permit options available for entrepreneurs:
NAFTA Investor
Under the NAFTA agreement, citizens of the United States or Mexico who invest in new or existing businesses in Canada may be eligible to apply for Investor work permits to manage their Canadian businesses. The NAFTA Investor program allows American or Mexican entrepreneurs who have already made a significant investment in a Canadian business to enter Canada to develop and direct that business. Typically, the Investor is the majority shareholder or sole owner of the business in Canada. To apply, the Investor must provide a business plan detailing the total capital required to establish or purchase the business and provide evidence that a significant portion of these funds have already been committed to the project. There is an expectation that the business will generate jobs or other benefits to the local economy and will not be purely a means of self support for the investor.
While the NAFTA Investor work permit is only available to citizens of the US and Mexico, other types of entrepreneurial work permits have no citizenship restrictions.
Intra-Company Transfer
Entrepreneurs who plan to continue to operate an existing business overseas while also expanding into Canada may qualify for Intra-Company Transferee work permits . The Intra-Company Transfer program is primarily used by multinational corporations to move management and key staff between branches, but it can also be well suited for entrepreneurs. The basic requirements for this program are as follows:
  • The new business in Canada must be viable. Viability can be demonstrated by providing a business plan, financial information and evidence that business premises have been leased in Canada. To qualify, the business plan must involve hiring at least one Canadian during the first year of operations.
  • The overseas and Canadian businesses must have common ownership. Specifically, the two companies must have a parent-branch, parent-subsidiary, or affiliate relationship.
  • The person being transferred to manage the Canadian business must have at least one year of full-time employment in an equivalent senior managerial or executive position with the overseas company.
Intra-company transfer is an excellent option if you plan to divide your time between managing your current overseas business and starting a new branch or subsidiary in Canada.
Other Work Permits for Business Owners
If you are investing in a Canadian business which is not related to an existing business overseas, you may consider either a C11 Entrepreneur work permit or an LMO-based work permit for owner operators.
  • A C11 Entrepreneur work permit may be an option if you are the sole or majority owner of the Canadian business. This type of application is typically most successful for seasonal businesses or in cases where the business owner intends to maintain a primary residence outside Canada. CIC is reluctant to issue temporary work permits to business owners who plan to manage a permanent, year-round business in Canada on an indefinite basis because permanent, year-round work in Canada falls outside the scope of the temporary foreign worker program. In this situation, you may consider either restructuring your business in Canada so that you qualify for another type of work permit or applying for a permanent resident visa through one of Canada’s Business Immigration programs.
  • If you are a minority owner of the Canadian business but plan to take an active role in day-to-day management, an Owner- Operator LMO-based work permit is an excellent option. An LMO (Labour Market Opinion) is a document issued by the government confirming that hiring a foreign worker will have a positive or neutral effect on the local labour market. LMOs are most commonly issued to companies which show that foreign workers are needed to fill temporary labour shortages in Canada. This process involves advertising the position extensively in Canada and can be time consuming. However, if the foreign worker is an owner-operator with minority ownership, no advertising is required. Instead, the Canadian company can demonstrate that the foreign entrepreneur’s management of the business will actively benefit the local labour market. Factors considered include job creation, maintaining existing jobs, and transferring skills to Canadian employees.
Advice for Entrepreneurs
Working as an entrepreneur in Canada is an exciting and rewarding endeavor. However, given the fact that entrepreneurs are often moving not just themselves but their businesses to Canada as well, obtaining Canadian work authorization can at times be difficult. Thankfully, Canada is keen to attract entrepreneurs, who are considered valuable members of the workforce.
“Entrepreneurs are seen as drivers of Canada’s economy that help to create Canadian jobs, “Many of our country’s most prominent entrepreneurs in fact came to Canada from abroad.”
When applying to work in Canada, entrepreneurs should make sure that they are fully aware of the range of options available for themselves, their families, and their businesses. These options can vary greatly depending on an individual’s professional experience as well as the nature of their business and its connections to Canada.
“Working with entrepreneurs who are seeking to balance their business objectives with work and immigration goals adds a new level of complexity to an application,” said Attorney Cohen. “However, their effort is more than worth it. Entrepreneurs benefit from an innovative, open economy, while our country is given the opportunity to house some of the world’s best new businesses.”

10.2.15

The Advantages Of Studying In Canada

The Advantages Of Studying In Canada

At the time of writing, the number of international students studying in Canada is over 250,000, a figure that is constantly growing. Many of these students are choosing Canada over other potential destinations, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and France, because of certain advantages that studying in Canada can bring.
With quality and more affordable tuition, safe cities, employment options (both during and after the study period), and as a pathway to Canadian permanent residence, the decision to study in Canada can be one of the most important, and best, decisions made by young people from around the world.
World-class universities and colleges
Canadian universities and colleges located across the country are renowned for their research and innovation. Canada’s higher education institutions are diverse — varying in size, scope, character and breadth of programs. High academic standards and thorough quality controls mean that students may gain a high-quality education that will benefit their careers over the long term. A Canadian degree, diploma or certificate is generally recognized as being equivalent to those obtained from the United States or Commonwealth countries.
Lower tuition costs
Canada is often the preferred choice for students who may also have the option of studying in countries such as the United States or United Kingdom because of the lower tuition costs. Compared to other countries, Canadian international tuition fees, accommodation and other living expenses remain competitive.  
Work while you study
Students in Canada have the advantage of being able to work while studying. Among other benefits, this allows them to manage their finances without incurring enormous debt. To gain the right to work off-campus, students must:
  • have a valid study permit;
  • be a full-time student;
  • be enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level or, in Quebec, a vocational program at the secondary level; and
  • be studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration.
If a candidate qualifies, his or her study permit will allow him or her to:
  • work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions; and
  • work full-time during scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break.
Post-graduate 
A typical path from student to permanent resident status in Canada is through taking advantage of something Canada offers that is not available, or more difficult to obtain, in other countries — a post-graduate work permit.
This work permit may be issued on completion of the study program for the duration that the program, up to a maximum of three years. Thus, a graduate who completed a four-year study program could be eligible for a three-year post-graduate work permit, while a graduate who completed a study program twelve months in duration could be eligible for a twelve-month post-graduate work permit.
A pathway to Canadian permanent residence
Skilled Canadian work experience gained through the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program helps graduates to qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian Experience Class(CEC).
Moreover, certain provinces, such as British Columbia and Quebec, have immigration streams that identify certain graduates for permanent residence. Candidates for British Columbia’s International Post-Graduate category have the advantage of not requiring a job offer and being able to have their application for permanent residence processed through the federal Express Entry immigration selection system. Students who graduate from a study program in Quebec may be eligible to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec, commonly known as a CSQ) through the Quebec Experience Class.
Canada wants students
“More than anything, Canada does not see international students as a source of income for privately-owned educational institutions, to be shown the door when they have completed their studies,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“On the contrary, Canada wants students because Canada is all about nation-building. Young, intelligent newcomers who have proven they have the credentials and means to assimilate are a big part of that. In short, Canada wants students to come here, study, contribute socially and economically, and stay permanently.”
SchoolMatch
CanadaVisa is excited to announce a partnership with SchoolMatch Canada, a new app that gives you a detailed list of the universities and colleges that best suit your expectations, personality, and goals.

9.2.15

USA Visa Bulletin For February 2015

USA Visa Bulletin For February 2015

U.S. Department of Homeland Security seal, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services logo
A. STATUTORY NUMBERS
1.  This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during February. 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.  Allocations were made, to the extent possible, in chronological order of reported priority dates, for demand received by January 9th.  If not all demand could be satisfied, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed.  The cut-off date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits.  Only applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date may be allotted a number.  If it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a cut-off date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new cut-off 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.  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.
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 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.
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.
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 available for all qualified applicants; and "U" means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available. (NOTE:  Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.) 
Family-SponsoredAll Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedCHINA-mainland bornINDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F122JUL0722JUL07 22JUL0701OCT9408JAN05
F2A08MAY1308MAY1308MAY1322APR1308MAY13
F2B22MAY0822MAY0822MAY0815DEC94 22FEB04
F301JAN0401JAN0401JAN0415JAN9415JUL93
F415APR0215APR0215APR0222APR9708AUG91
*NOTE:  For February, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 22APR13.  F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 22APR13 and earlier than 08MAY13.  (All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no F2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.) 
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, not more than 10,000 of which 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 reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of Pub. L. 102-395.
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 available for all qualified applicants; and "U" means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available.  (NOTE:  Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.) 
Employment- Based
All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed
CHINA - mainland bornINDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
1stCCCCC
2ndC15MAR1001SEP05CC
3rd01JAN1401SEP1122DEC0301JAN1401JAN14
Other Workers01JAN1415AUG0522DEC0301JAN1401JAN14
4thCCCCC
Certain Religious WorkersCCCCC
5th
Targeted
Employment
Areas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs
CCCCC
*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 cut-off date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.
6.  The Department of State has a recorded message with the cut-off date information which can be heard at:  (202) 485-7699.  This recording is updated on or about the tenth of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.
B.  DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY FOR THE MONTH 
     OF FEBRUARY
 
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 resulted in reduction of the DV-2015 annual limit to 50,000. 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 February, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2015 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
AFRICA26,000Except:
Egypt:    12,000
Ethiopia: 15,500
ASIA3,825

EUROPE20,500
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS)5
OCEANIA775
SOUTH AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN
875
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-2015 program ends as of September 30, 2015.  DV visas may not be issued to DV-2015 applicants after that date.  Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2015 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2015.  DV visa availability through the very end of
FY-2015 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 MARCH
For March, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2015 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
AFRICA27,800Except:
Egypt:      15,700
Ethiopia:   18,900
ASIA4,300
EUROPE24,000
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS)6
OCEANIA875
SOUTH AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN
925
D.  VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS
FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)
Worldwide dates:
F1: Up to three weeks
F2A: Three or four weeks
F2B: Three to six weeks
F3: Up to three weeks
F4: Two to four weeks
EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)
Employment First: Current
Employment Second:
Worldwide: Current
China:        Three to six weeks
India:         Four to six months
Employment Third:
Worldwide: Rapid forward movement for at least another month or two. The rapid movement in recent months should generate a significant amount of demand for numbers. Once such demand materializes at the anticipated rate it will have a direct impact on this cut-off date. 
China:        Rapid forward movement. Such movement is likely to result
                 in a dramatic increase in demand which could require
                 "corrective" action within the next six months.
India:         Up to two weeks
Mexico:       Will remain at the worldwide date
Philippines:  Will remain at the worldwide date. Increased demand may
                  require "corrective" action at some point later in the
                  fiscal year. 
Employment Fourth: Current
Employment Fifth: Current - for most countries. The expected increase in
                            China-mainland born demand would require the
                            establishment of a cut-off date for such applicants
                            no later than the summer months. 
                         
                            The category will remain "Current" for all other countries
                            for the foreseeable future. 
The above projections for the Family and Employment categories indicate what is likely to happen on a monthly basis through May based on current applicant demand patterns. Readers should never assume that recent trends in cut-off date movements are guaranteed for the future, or that "corrective" action will not be required at some point in an effort to maintain number use within the applicable annual limits. The determination of the actual monthly cut-off dates is subject to monthly fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables. 
E.  OBTAINING THE MONTHLY VISA BULLETIN
To be placed on the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the “Visa Bulletin”, please send an E-mail to the following E-mail address:
and in the message body type:
Subscribe Visa-Bulletin 
(example: Subscribe Visa-Bulletin)
To be removed from the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the “Visa Bulletin”, send an e-mail message to the following E-mail address:
and in the message body type: Signoff Visa-Bulletin
The Department of State also has available a recorded message with visa cut-off dates which can be heard at: (202) 485-7699. The recording is normally updated on/about the 10th of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.
Readers may submit questions regarding Visa Bulletin related items by E-mail at the following address:
(This address cannot be used to subscribe to the Visa Bulletin.)
Department of State Publication 9514
CA/VO:   January 9, 2015
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