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U.S. Visa Law & Policy

Visa Bulletin for June 2005

Number 82
Volume VIII
Washington, D.C.

IMMIGRANT NUMBERS FOR JUNE 2005

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during June. 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 May 10th 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 22OCT94 15JAN91
2A* 22APR01 22APR01 22APR01 22APR98 22APR01
2B 08DEC95 08DEC95 08DEC95 15MAR92 08DEC95
3rd 22JAN98 22JAN98 22JAN98 22APR95 01SEP90
4th 01AUG93 01AUG93 15DEC92 01AUG93 22DEC82

*NOTE: For June, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 22APR98. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 22APR98 and earlier than 22APR01. (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

CHINA-
mainland
born

INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C C C C C
3rd C 01JUN02 01JUN02 C 01JUN02
Schedule A Workers C C C C C
Other Workers 01JAN99 01JAN99 01JAN99 01JAN99 01JAN99
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 June, 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:

  All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately    
Region      
AFRICA AF 28,450 Except: Nigeria  21,400
ASIA AS 7,900 Except: Bangladesh  5,975
EUROPE EUR 20,500 Except: Poland    20,000
              Ukraine     5,570
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) NA 13  
OCEANIA OC 1,000  
SOUTH AMERICA and the CARIBBEAN SA 1,775  

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. Once all numbers provided by law for the DV-2005 program have been used, no further issuances will be possible.

C. ADVANCE NOTIFICATION OF THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANKCUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN JULY

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:

  All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately    
Region      
AFRICA AF 32,800 Except: Ethiopia  29,400
              Nigeria   23,300
ASIA AS 9,200 Except: Bangladesh  6,700
EUROPE EUR 20,500 Except: Ukraine  10,800
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) NA 13  
OCEANIA OC 1,180  
SOUTH AMERICA and the CARIBBEAN SA 1,800  

D. RETROGRESSION OF THE EMPLOYMENT-BASED THIRD PREFERENCE “OTHER WORKER” CATEGORY FOR JUNE

As mentioned in the Visa Bulletin announcing the May cut-off dates, demand for visa numbers in the Employment Other Worker category has remained extremely high despite the imposition of a cut-off date. As a result, it has been necessary to retrogress the June cut-off date in an attempt to hold number use within the annual limit. It is likely that the limit will be reached sometime during June, and the category would immediately become “unavailable”.

E. VISA AVAILABILITY DURING THE REMAINDER OF FY-2005

Employment-based: During the past month there has been a significant increase in the amount of numbers being used by Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) offices for adjustment of status applicants. This level of demand has significantly depleted the supply of Employment-based numbers available under the annual limit. Recent discussions with CIS have made it clear that their backlog reduction efforts will sustain or increase the current level of demand. Therefore, continued visa availability in the Employment-based categories cannot be guaranteed during the final quarter of FY-2005. If demand continues at the current rate, it will be necessary to oversubscribe many or all of the Employment categories on a Worldwide basis. Such oversubscription could result in the establishment of cut-off dates, retrogression of already established dates, or some categories becoming “unavailable”.

Mexico: Heavy applicant demand in all of the Mexico Family-sponsored categories is causing the issuance level to approach the annual limit. It is likely that many of the Mexico cut-off dates will be retrogressed during the final months of FY-2005.

F. 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:May 10, 2005