A. STATUTORY NUMBERS
1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during March. 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 February 8th 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:
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:
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.
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.
|Family||All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed||CHINA-mainland born||INDIA||MEXICO||PHILIPPINES|
*NOTE: For March, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 15AUG00. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 15AUG00 and earlier than 22MAR02. (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.)
All Chargeability Areas
|Certain Religious Workers||C||C||C||C||C|
|Iraqi & Afghani Translators||18SEP06||18SEP06||18SEP06||18SEP06||18SEP06|
|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.
Employment Third Preference Other Workers Category: Section 203(e) of the NACARA, as amended by Section 1(e) of Pub. L. 105 - 139, provides that once the Employment Third Preference Other Worker (EW) cut-off date has reached the priority date of the latest EW petition approved prior to November 19, 1997, the 10,000 EW numbers available for a fiscal year are to be reduced by up to 5,000 annually beginning in the following fiscal year. This reduction is to be made for as long as necessary to offset adjustments under the NACARA program. Since the EW cut-off date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.
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-2007 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 March, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2007 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 Listed Separately
|NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS)||7|
|SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN||1,010|
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-2007 program ends as of September 30, 2007. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2007 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2007 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2007. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2007 cannot be taken for granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.
For April, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2007 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 Listed Separately
|NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS)||7|
|SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN||1,240|
D. RETROGRESSION OF THE MEXICO AND PHILIPPINES FAMILY THIRD PREFERENCE CATEGORY CUT-OFF DATES
It has been necessary to retrogress the cut-off dates for the Mexico and Philippines Family Third preference categories for the month of March in an attempt to keep the issuance level within the annual numerical limit. Further retrogression, or “unavailability”, in future months cannot be ruled out.
E. EMPLOYMENT THIRD PREFERENCE VISA AVAILABILITY DURING THE COMING MONTHS
Little if any forward movement in the Employment Third preference category is expected in the near future. Recent discussions with both Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) and the Department of Labor indicate that the demand for numbers with pre-August 2002 priority dates is likely to be extremely high in the coming months as both agencies continue to work on their backlogs. This could easily cause a retrogression of the current Employment Third preference cut-off dates should that demand begin to materialize at CIS offices during the spring and summer months.
F. OBTAINING THE MONTHLY VISA BULLETIN
The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs publishes the monthly Visa Bulletin on their website at Visa Bulletin under the Visas section. Alternatively, visitors may access the Visa Bulletin directly.
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:
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 :
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:
(This address cannot be used to subscribe to the Visa Bulletin)
Department of State Publication 9514
CA/VO:February 8, 2007