Legal Resources

English

U.S. Visa Law & Policy

Visa Bulletin for August 2004

Number 72
Volume VIII
Washington, D.C.

IMMIGRANT NUMBERS FOR AUGUST 2004

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during August Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status. Allocations were made, to the extent possible under the numerical limitations, for the demand received by July 13th in the chronological order of the reported priority dates. If the demand could not be satisfied within the statutory or regulatory limits, 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. Immediately that 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.

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. Section 203 of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of immigrant visas as follows:

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES

First:  Unmarried Sons and Daughters of 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, and any unused first preference numbers:

A. Spouses and Children:  77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B. Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older):  23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third:  Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth:  Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

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 P.L. 102-395.

4. 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: INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.

5. 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 All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st

22OCT00

22OCT00

01JAN92

15JUL90

2A*

15APR00

15APR00

15SEP97

15APR00

2B

01JUL95

01JUL95

01DEC91

01JUL95

3rd

15OCT97

15OCT97

01MAY92

01SEP88

4th

15AUG92

01AUG91

15AUG92

22MAR82

*NOTE:  For August, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 15SEP97. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 15SEP97 and earlier than 15APR00. (All 2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no 2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)

Employment-
Based
All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C
2nd C C C C
3rd C C C C
Other Workers C C C C
4th C C C C
Certain Religious
Workers
C C C C
5th C C C C
Targeted Employment Areas/Regional Centers C C C C

The Department of State has available a recorded message with visa availability information which can be heard at: (area code 202) 663-1541. This recording will be updated in the middle of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.

B. DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY

Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides a maximum of up to 55,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year to permit immigration opportunities for persons from countries other than the principal sources of current immigration to the United States. The Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997 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 reduction has resulted in the DV-2004 annual limit being reduced 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 August , immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2004 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:

Region

All DV Chargeability
Areas Except Those
Region Listed Separately

   

AFRICA

AF

34,300

Except: Ethiopia 30,500
Ghana 22,000
Nigeria 17,900

ASIA

AS

13,600

 

EUROPE

EU

25,900

 

NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS)

NA

15

 

OCEANIA

OC

CURRENT

 

SOUTH AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN

SA

2,175

 

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-2004 program ends as of September 30, 2004. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2004 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2004 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2004. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2004 cannot be taken for granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30. Once all numbers provided by law for the DV-2004 program have been used, no further issuances will be possible.

C. ADVANCE NOTIFICATION OF THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANK CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN SEPTEMBER

For September, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2004 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:

Region

All DV Chargeability
Areas Except Those
Region Listed Separately

   

AFRICA

AF

35,450

Except: Ethiopia 31,600
Ghana 27,600
Nigeria 18,600

ASIA

AS

16,300

 

EUROPE

EU

28,700

 

NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS)

NA

15

 

OCEANIA

OC

CURRENT

 

SOUTH AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN

SA

CURRENT

 

D. RETROGRESSION OF CUT-OFF DATES FOR AUGUST

As mentioned in Visa Bulletin number 71, there has been a significant increase in demand for numbers in many categories. As the end of the fiscal year approaches, it has been necessary to retrogress the Philippines F3 and Mexico F1, F2B, and F3 cut-off dates for August to keep issuances within the annual numerical limits. Further retrogressions in these cut-off dates for September cannot be ruled out.

With the start of the new fiscal year in October, an attempt will be made to return the cut-off dates to the latest dates established during FY-2004.

E. VISA AVAILABILITY FOR THE COMING MONTHS

During the past several years, the Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) demand for numbers has been low. To compensate for the lack of demand from CIS, the Visa Office advanced the immigrant visa cut-off dates very rapidly to provide sufficient qualified applicants at our overseas posts and permit the maximum use of immigrant visa numbers. Such advances also meant that many thousands of additional applicants became eligible to file for adjustment of status at CIS offices. During recent months, CIS demand for numbers has increased significantly as they have begun to address their backlog situation. This increase in CIS demand for numbers is expected to continue, and immigrant visa cut-off date movement is likely to slow or stop in the Family preference categories.

Depending upon the rate at which demand is received, it may become necessary to establish cut-off dates in Employment preference categories. At this time, it is not known if or when this may happen during FY-2005.

F. DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY 2005 (DV-2005) RESULTS

The Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, Kentucky has registered and notified the winners of the DV-2005 diversity lottery. The diversity lottery was conducted under the terms of section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and makes available *50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Approximately 100,000 applicants have been registered and notified and may now make an application for an immigrant visa. Since it is likely that some of the first *50,000 persons registered will not pursue their cases to visa issuance, this larger figure should insure that all DV-2005 numbers will be used during fiscal year 2005 (October 1, 2004 until September 30, 2005).

Applicants registered for the DV-2005 program were selected at random from over 5.9 million qualified entries received during the 60-day application period that ran from 12:00 AM on November 1, 2003, until midnight, December 30, 2003. The visas have been apportioned among six geographic regions with a maximum of seven percent available to persons born in any single country. During the visa interview, principal applicants must provide proof of a high school education or its equivalent, or show two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience within the past five years. Those selected will need to act on their immigrant visa applications quickly. Applicants should follow the instructions in their notification letter and must fully complete the information requested.

Registrants living legally in the United States who wish to apply for adjustment of their status must contact the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services for information on the requirements and procedures. Once the total *50,000 visa numbers have been used, the program for fiscal year 2005 will end. Selected applicants who do not receive visas by September 30, 2005 will derive no further benefit from their DV-2005 registration. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2005 principal applicants are only entitled to derivative diversity visa status until September 30, 2005.

Only participants in the DV-2005 program who were selected for further processing have been notified. Those who have not received notification were not selected. They may try for the upcoming DV-2006 lottery if they wish. The dates for the registration period for the DV-2006 lottery program will be widely publicized during August 2004.

* The Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997 stipulated that up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas be made available for use under the NACARA program. The reduction of the limit of available visas to 50,000 began with DV-2000.

The following is the statistical breakdown by foreign-state chargeability of those registered for the DV-2005 program:

AFRICA

ALGERIA 1,489 ERITREA 556 NAMIBIA 11
ANGOLA 14 ETHIOPIA 6,060 NIGER 53
BENIN 233 GABON 29 NIGERIA 6,725
BOTSWANA 7 GAMBIA, THE 136 RWANDA 51
BURKINA FASO 76 GHANA 3,974 SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE 0
BURUNDI 34 GUINEA 268 SENEGAL 409
CAMEROON 1,540 GUINEA-BISSAU 3 SEYCHELLES 4
CAPE VERDE 6 KENYA 3,618 SIERRA LEONE 594
CENTRAL AFRICAN REP. 4 LESOTHO 0 SOMALIA 364
CHAD 22 LIBERIA 714 SOUTH AFRICA 390
COMOROS 3 LIBYA 35 SUDAN 1,015
CONGO 47 MADAGASCAR 28 SWAZILAND 6
CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE 844 MALAWI 44 TANZANIA 356
COTE D'IVOIRE 321 MALI 124 TOGO 2,857
DJIBOUTI 12 MAURITANIA 25 TUNISIA 134
EGYPT 6,070 MAURITIUS 23 UGANDA 244
EQUATORIAL GUINEA 2 MOROCCO 5,298 ZAMBIA 118
  MOZAMBIQUE 12 ZIMBABWE 141

ASIA

AFGHANISTAN 22 IRAQ 48 NEPAL 2,698
BAHRAIN 1 ISRAEL 116 OMAN 0
BANGLADESH 7,404 JAPAN 373 QATAR 1
BHUTAN 1 JORDAN 44 SAUDI ARABIA 30
BRUNEI 1 NORTH KOREA 1 SINGAPORE 35
BURMA 531 KUWAIT 16 SRI LANKA 386
CAMBODIA 164 LAOS 4 SYRIA 26
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMIN. REGION 77 LEBANON 83 THAILAND 102
INDONESIA 258 MALAYSIA 87 TAIWAN 367
IRAN 820 MALDIVES 0 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 13
  MONGOLIA 55 YEMEN 40

EUROPE

ALBANIA 3,380 GEORGIA 375 NORTHERN IRELAND 75
ANDORRA 1 GERMANY 1,275 NORWAY 25
ARMENIA 1,004 GREECE 78 POLAND 6,211
AUSTRIA 91 HUNGARY 181 PORTUGAL 51
AZERBAIJAN 235 ICELAND 5 Macau 12
BELARUS 925 IRELAND 205 ROMANIA 2,521
BELGIUM 81 ITALY 202 SAN MARINO 0
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA 103 KAZAKHSTAN 296 SERBIA & MONTENEGRO 425
BULGARIA 4,068 KYRGYZSTAN 206 SLOVAKIA 398
CROATIA 69 LATVIA 158 SLOVENIA 6
CYPRUS 14 LIECHTENSTEIN 1 SPAIN 134
CZECH REPUBLIC 169 LITHUANIA 1,114 SWEDEN 115
DENMARK 42 LUXEMBOURG 2 SWITZERLAND 136
ESTONIA 64 MACEDONIA, FORMER YUGOSLAV REP. OF 306 TAJIKISTAN 83
FINLAND 59 MALTA 0 TURKEY 1,803
FRANCE 384 MOLDOVA 383 TURKMENISTAN 78
French Southern & Antarctic Lands 1 MONACO 0 UKRAINE 5,361
Martinique 2 NETHERLANDS 130 UZBEKISTAN 1,551
New Caledonia 1 Netherlands Antilles 10 VATICAN CITY 0
Reunion 3 Aruba 2  
     

NORTH AMERICA

Bahamas, The 14

OCEANIA

AUSTRALIA 787 NAURU 0 SAMOA 6
Cocos Islands 2 NEW ZEALAND 290 SOLOMON ISLANDS 1
FIJI 530 Cook Islands 0 TONGA 96
KIRIBATI 0 Niue 1 TUVALU 0
MARSHALL ISLANDS 0 PALAU 2 VANUATU 0
MICRONESIA, FEDERATED STATES OF 0 PAPUA NEW GUINEA 5

SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, AND THE CARIBBEAN

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA 4 DOMINICA 8 PERU 2,514
ARGENTINA 221 ECUADOR 308 SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS 3
BARBADOS 12 GRENADA 7 SAINT LUCIA 4
BELIZE 3 GUATEMALA 25 SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES 14
BOLIVIA 108 GUYANA 27 SURINAME 3
BRAZIL 592 HONDURAS 35 URUGUAY 18
CHILE 43 NICARAGUA 14 VENEZUELA 299
COSTA RICA 24 PANAMA 17  
CUBA 674 PARAGUAY 14  

Natives of the following countries were not eligible to participate in DV-2005: Canada, China (mainland-born, excluding Hong Kong S.A.R., and Taiwan), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

G. OBTAINING THE MONTHLY VISA BULLETIN

The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs offers the monthly "Visa Bulletin" on the INTERNET'S WORLDWIDE WEB. The INTERNET Web address to access the Bulletin is:

http://travel.state.gov

From the home page, select the VISA section which contains the 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:

listserv@calist.state.gov

and in the message body type:
Subscribe Visa-Bulletin First name/Last name
(example: Subscribe Visa-Bulletin Sally Doe)

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:

listserv@calist.state.gov

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:   (area code 202) 663-1541. The recording is normally updated by the middle 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:

VISABULLETIN@STATE.GOV

(This address cannot be used to subscribe to the Visa Bulletin)

Department of State Publication 9514
CA/VO:July 13, 2004

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO 96