Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the visa process, particularly USCIS
and Department of State (DOS) efforts to maximize visa issuance in accordance with
In recent years, over 1 million people became Lawful Permanent Residents of the
United States (LPRs). Under the law there are a variety of different categories and
means through which a person may become eligible for permanent residence. A
substantial number of these categories have numerical limitations – annual caps on
how many people can immigrate. There are other aspects to these caps as well,
such as limitations per country.
The Department of State administers the provisions of the Immigration and
Nationality Act (INA) that relate to the numerical limits on immigrant visa issuance.
However, DOS and USCIS must work closely in this respect because visas issued by
DOS and adjustment of status granted by USCIS draw down from the same pool of
limited numbers. Close and careful coordination ensures that annual limitations are
not exceeded, and also helps us jointly strive to use all available visa numbers when
there is sufficient demand.
In concert with DOS, USCIS has made significant changes in recent years to
maximize the use of the limited number of visas available annually. These changes
include increased staffing, enhanced analytical capacity, more detailed and strategic
management of monthly production, and close partnership with DOS to share greater
information. This enhanced information exchange assists DOS in better managing visa
allocations through the monthly visa bulletin and improves USCIS’ ability to target