Immigrant Visa (Consular Processing) Inventory at NVC
For employment-based immigration, there are two ways to obtain a green card: File I-485 to adjust status in the United States, or go through consular processing to obtain an immigrant visa. The majority of EB immigrants (roughly 90%) take the I-485 route, while the rest (10%) receive their green card through consular processing.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes Adjustment of Status applications. USCIS publishes a quarterly pending I-485 inventory which can show your place in line for a green card. An easier way to access the pending I-485 data is to use our green card tracker, which does the calculation automatically based on your country, EB preference and priority date.
The Department of State (DOS) handles immigrant visa applications at its overseas posts. DOS' National Visa Center (NVC) publishes an annual inventory of applicants awaiting consular processing. The employment portion of the inventory is summarized below, but keep in the mind that it is just the consular waiting list which does not count any green card applications pending at USCIS. In addition, the consular inventory does include spouses and children who are entitled for derivative status.
As you can see the consular processing (CP) inventory does not include priority date information. So you can only estimate how many of those applicants on the waiting list are actually ahead of you. Add this number to the green card tracker (I-485) result, and you now have a more complete picture of your place in line for a green card. This is how we calculate the ratio of CP to I-485, and apply to the green card tracker.
It is worth mentioning that all applicants subject to numerical limits, whether through adjustment of status or consular processing, must secure a visa number before their application can be approved. The allocation of visa numbers is regulated via the visa bulletin, published monthly by the Department of State. DOS' Visa Office tallies requests for visa numbers from both USCIS and overseas posts to determine cut-off dates, if any, for all preferences and subcategories.
|Immigrant Visa Applications Inventory at DOS National Visa Center (NVC), as of 11/1/2013|
|China - Mainland||473||2,002||3,670||4,571||--||3,863|
|Immigrant Visa Applications Inventory at DOS National Visa Center (NVC), as of 11/1/2012|
|China - Mainland||379||916||5,440||4,700||4||2,277|
|Immigrant Visa Applications Inventory at DOS National Visa Center (NVC), as of 11/1/2011|
|China - Mainland||268||1,053||6,191||4,718||--||1,157|
|Immigrant Visa Applications Inventory at DOS National Visa Center (NVC), as of 11/1/2010|
|China - Mainland||355||1,022||6,724||5,142||--||766|
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