In the United States, the fiscal year is the period of time that begins on the 01st of October and ends on the 30th of December of the following year. Contrary to the majority of countries, the fiscal year does not correspond to the natural year. That is, the one that beings on the 01st of January and ends on the 31st of December.
Thus, if we speak of the 2017 fiscal year, this would mean the period starting on the 01st of October of 2016, which will end on the 30th of December of 2017.
What is the immigration importance of the fiscal year?
The fiscal year is very important for immigration matters. Firstly, in the cases where a fixed amount of a type of Visa is granted every year, which is known as the annual cap.
The problem with this annual cap is it will affect both some Non-Immigrant Visas as well as some Immigrant Visas. Indeed, this is the reason for the delay existing in some Green Card applications through family members.
Once the fixed amount of Visas is reached for every fiscal year, petitions that have been filed will be saved in a waiting list, which will be reopened once again with the arrival of the first day of the new fiscal year – or, depending on the category of the application, a new application may be needed to be filed.
Some trivia about the fiscal year
Up to 1976, the American fiscal year began on 01st of July and ended on the 30th of June of the following year. This period was modified because Congress would be left in need of more time to approve the government budget.
This is why it is important to understand this difference. You could make mistakes by thinking that things in the United States work in the same manner as in your home country.