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U.S. Visa Law & Policy

Visa Bulletin for July 2005

Number 83
Volume VIII
Washington, D.C.

IMMIGRANT NUMBERS FOR JULY 2005

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during July. 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 June 9th 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". Schedule A Workers are entitled to up to 50,000 “recaptured” numbers.

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: CHINA-mainland born, 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 CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st 08APR01 08APR01 08APR01 01JAN83 08FEB91
2A* 22MAY01 22MAY01 22MAY01 22MAY98 22MAY01
2B 01JAN96 01JAN96 01JAN96 01JAN91 01JAN96
3rd 01FEB98 01FEB98 01FEB98 01JAN92 01SEP90
4th 08SEP93 08SEP93 15JAN93 01JAN87 01JAN83

*NOTE: For July, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 22MAY98. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 22MAY98 and earlier than 22MAY01.  (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 CH IN ME PH
1st C C C C C
2nd C C C C C
3rd U U U U U
Schedule A Workers C C C C C
Other Workers U U U U U
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
5th C C C C C
Targeted Employment Areas/Regional Centers C 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-2005 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 July, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2005 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 32,800 Except:
Ethiopia 29,400
Nigeria 23,300
ASIA AS 9,200 Except:
Bangladesh 6,700
EUROPE EU 20,500 Except:
Ukraine 10,800
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) NA 13  
OCEANIA OC 1,180  
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN SA 1,800  

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-2005 program ends as of September 30, 2005. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2005 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2005 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2005. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2005 cannot be taken for granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.

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

For August, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2005 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 39,500

Except:
Ethiopia 30,100

ASIA AS 10,200 Except:
Bangladesh 7,820
EUROPE EU 20,500 Except:
Ukraine 15,100
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) NA 13  
OCEANIA OC 1,275  
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN SA 2,300  

D. EMPLOYMENT VISA AVAILABILITY FOR JULY AND THE REMAINDER OF FY-2005

The Employment Third and Third Other Worker categories have reached their annual limits and no further FY-2005 allocations are possible for the period July through September. With the start of the new fiscal year in October, numbers will once again become available in these categories. It is not possible to make any estimates regarding potential cut-off dates at this time. 

E. VISA AVAILABILITY FOR THE MEXICO FAMILY-SPONSORED CATEGORIES

It has been necessary to retrogress the Mexico F1, F2B, F3, and F4 cut-off dates for July to hold issuances within the annual numerical limits. With the start of the new fiscal year in October, these cut-off dates can be expected to move ahead once again. 

F. VISA AVAILABILITY BASED ON THE "RECAPTURE" OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED NUMBERS

Title V, Section 502 of the REAL ID Act of 2005 (Division B of Pub. L. 109-13 enacted May 11, 2005) provides for the recapture of 50,000 Employment-based immigrant visa numbers that were unused in fiscal years 2001 through 2004. Such numbers are to be made available to Employment-based immigrants described in the Department of Labor's Schedule A and their accompanying spouses and children. The immigrant classification for these 50,000 visa numbers has been designated as Schedule A Worker with the category symbol being "EX". Beginning immediately, "EX" visa numbers may be allocated to Schedule A immigrants and their dependents only; all other immigrants within the Third Preference will continue to use the traditional Third preference classification. Note that any Schedule A applicant will first be eligible for a visa number under the traditional Third preference cut-off date. "EX" visa numbers may be allocated to all Third preference Schedule A applicants from all countries, including China, India, and the Philippines, only if their priority date is beyond the established Third preference cut-off date or if the Third preference category is "Unavailable". The "EX" category is CURRENT, and will remain Current for the foreseeable future. 

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: June 9, 2005