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 Visa Bulletin


United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs

VISA BULLETIN

Number 44
Volume VIII
Washington, D.C.

IMMIGRANT NUMBERS FOR MAY 2002

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 Immigration and Naturalization Service reports applicants for adjustment of status. Allocations were made, to the extent possible under the numerical limitations, for the demand received by April 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:

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.)

Priority Dates for Family Based Immigrant Visas
 

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

Family

       

1st

01MAR99

01MAR99

U

01FEB89

2A*

15JAN97

15JAN97

22OCT94

15JAN97

2B

01SEP93

01SEP93

U

01SEP93

3rd

22JUN96

22JUN96

15JUL92

01NOV88

4th

15MAR90

01MAY89

15MAR90

01JUN80

*NOTE: For May, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 22OCT94. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 22OCT94 and earlier than 15JAN97. (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.)

Priority Dates for Employment-Based Immigrant Visas
 

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

Employment-Based

       

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 (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 (NCARA) 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 NCARA program. This reduction has resulted in the DV-2002 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-2002 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 17,000
ASIA: AS 9,000 Except: Bangladesh 4,300
EUROPE: EU 15,150
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS): NA 8
OCEANIA: OC 412
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN: SA 1,050

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-2002 program ends as of September 30, 2002. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2002 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2002 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2002. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2002 cannot be taken for granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30. Once all numbers provided by law for the DV-2002 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-2002 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 21,400
ASIA: AS 9,500 Except: Bangladesh 4,750
EUROPE: EU 16,600 Except: Ukraine 15,575
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS): NA 11
OCEANIA: OC 473
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN: SA 1,190

D. POSSIBLE CUT-OFF DATE RETROGRESSIONS DURING THE COMING MONTHS

WORLDWIDE: Readers are reminded that as the end of the fiscal year approaches, it may be necessary to retrogress some cut-off dates to keep visa issuances within the annual numerical limits set by law. It is particularly possible that the Family First (F1) preference cut-off dates could retrogress as early as June.

MEXICO: The Mexico Family Fourth (F4) preference cut-off date has moved forward very quickly in recent months. This has resulted in a significant increase in number use, and future cut-off date movement could stop. Moreover, later in the fiscal year such demand could result in the retrogression of the Mexico F4
cut-off date.

Department of State Publication 9514
CA/VO: April 8, 2002


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