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The US issues a visa bulletin every month (this month's bulletin) that gives information regarding whose priority date has become current and who shall wait approximately how much.

You can see that India, Mexico, China, Philippines have oversubscribed the annual limit, so there is a huge backlog. But what about all of the rest of the countries in the world? Say Russia? Or UK? Or Portugal? Or Australia? What about them? Are green cards immediately available for them?

You can also find a column named "All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed". What's this? Does this include European countries, for example?

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But what about all of the rest of the countries in the world?

The priority date for those countries is the date shown for "all chargeability areas except those listed."

You can also find a column named "All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed". What's this?

See above. It's the date that applies to every unlisted country (or other chargeability area).

Does this include European countries, for example?

Yes.

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  • Your answer has surprised me. I have marked it accepted because I know your claims are always backed by stated/unstated grounding. But this makes the wait time for a British national practically the same as a Chinese national or an Indian national even though there is relatively more immigration from India or China to the US than the UK. Can you please help me clarify this? – Yashveer Singh Sep 9 '20 at 13:08
  • My understanding is that the US has created separate queues for the big emigration countries like Mexico, China, India etc, but a single queue for the rest of the world. (given that each queue cannot accept more than 7% of the total visas available per year) Is this right? – Yashveer Singh Sep 9 '20 at 13:11
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    @YashveerSingh: The country of chargeability is based on the country of birth, not the country of nationality. I am not sure what you mean by "separate queues" and "a single queue". The wait times result from a combination of the annual limit for visa numbers for a given category, plus the 7% per country cap. The fact that, in some categories, the wait times are longer for people born in some countries, is because those countries have hit the 7% per country cap for that category. Countries that have not hit the cap for a given category will have the same wait as the "rest of the world". – user102008 Sep 10 '20 at 1:00
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    @YashveerSingh: The "rest of the world" countries are not different from the countries that are listed separately, except that the countries that are listed separately have hit the 7% per country cap in at least one category, so the cannot be grouped into the "rest of the world". – user102008 Sep 10 '20 at 1:04
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    @YashveerSingh: They could list each country of chargeability in the world as separate columns, but that would take too much space and most of the columns would be the same (the countries that have not hit the 7% per country cap will have the same wait times, only determined by the annual limit for visas in that category). So for simplicity, they group all the countries of chargeability that have not hit the cap in any category into a single column, "rest of the world", to make the table easier to read. – user102008 Sep 10 '20 at 1:04

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