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U.S. Visa Law & Policy

Visa Bulletin for May 2005

Number 81
Volume VIII
Washington, D.C.

IMMIGRANT NUMBERS FOR MAY 2005

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during May. 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 April 12th 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: 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 01APR01 01APR01 01APR01 22OCT94 15JAN91
2A* 01MAR01 01MAR01 01MAR01 01MAR98 01MAR01
2B 08NOV95 08NOV95 08NOV95 15MAR92 08NOV95
3rd 22JAN98 22JAN98 22JAN98 22APR95 01SEP90
4th 01JUL93 01JUL93 22OCT92 01JUL93 22DEC82

*NOTE: For May, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01MAR98. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01MAR98 and earlier than 01MAR01. (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 Chargability Area 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
Other Workers 01JUL01 01JUL01 01JUL01 01JUL01 01JUL01
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 May, 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 27,700 Except: Nigeria 21,300
ASIA AS 7,250 Except: Bangladesh 5,400
EUROPE EU 20,000  
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) NA 13  
OCEANIA OC 900  
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN SA 1,600  

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 RANK CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN JUNE

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:

Region All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Region Listed Separately    
AFRICA AF 28,450 Except: Nigeria 21,400
ASIA AS 7,900 Except: Bangladesh 5,975
EUROPE EU 20,500

Except: Poland 20,000
Ukraine 5,750

NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) NA 13  
OCEANIA OC 1,000  
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN SA 1,775  

In recent months we have experienced very heavy demand for DV numbers by applicants from Poland and Ukraine. Therefore, it will be necessary to establish rank cut-offs for those two countries beginning in June. This is being done to hold DV number use within the annual per-country limits as outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

D. EMPLOYMENT-BASED THIRD PREFERENCE “OTHER WORKER” CATEGORY VISA AVAILABILITY

As mentioned in both the February and March Visa Bulletins, demand for visa numbers in the Other Worker category remains very high. A cut-off date was established for March in an attempt to limit number use. The imposition of that date has not had the desired effect and the level of demand remains excessive. Therefore, it is likely that the cut-off date will retrogress or numbers become “unavailable” in the near future.

E. UPDATE ON DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY 2006 (DV-2006) NOTIFICATION

The Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, Kentucky is responsible for the notification of winners of the DV-2006 diversity lottery. The notification process will take place beginning in late April, and will be concluded by July. Therefore, persons who applied for the DV-2006 lottery, and are selected, can expect to receive a notification sometime during that time period. Only those selected to participate in the DV-2006 program will be notified. This Visa Bulletin will provide an official announcement when the notification letters have been sent to all winners.

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:April 12, 2005