United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs

VISA BULLETIN

Number 16
Volume VIII
Washington, D.C.

IMMIGRANT NUMBERS FOR MARCH 2000

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 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 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.

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.)

PREFERENCES

                All Charge-
                ability Areas
                Except Those
                Listed          INDIA           MEXICO          PHILIPPINES
Family

1st             15NOV98         15NOV98         22OCT93         22MAR88

2A*             22NOV95         22NOV95         01JUL94         22NOV95

2B              01JAN93         01JAN93         01SEP91         01JAN93

3rd             15NOV95         15NOV95         08NOV91         15NOV87

4th             22NOV88         15MAY87         22NOV88         15JUL79

*NOTE: For March, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01JUL94. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01JUL94 and earlier than 22NOV95. (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 Charge-
                ability 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          01MAR94       01MAR94          01MAR94           01MAR94
    Workers

4th                 C             C                C                 C

  Certain           C             C                C                 C
    Religious
    Workers

5th                 C             C                C                 C

  Targeted Employ-  C             C                C                 C
    ment Areas/
    Regional Centers

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 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. 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-2000 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 Charge-
                ability Areas
                Except Those
Region          Listed Separately

AFRICA          AF 14,801               Except:  Ghana  AF 6,040
                                                 Nigeria  AF 6,770

ASIA            AS  5,580

EUROPE          EU 14,980               Except:  Albania  EU 7,772

NORTH AMERICA   NA     15
(BAHAMAS)

OCEANIA         OC    771

SOUTH AMERICA,  SA  1,650
CENTRAL AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN

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-2000 program ends as of September 30, 2000. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2000 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2000 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2000. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2000 cannot be taken for granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30. Once all numbers provided by law for the DV-2000 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 APRIL AND MAY FOR THE DV-2000 PROGRAM

For April, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2000 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 Charge-
                ability Areas
                Except Those
Region          Listed Separately

AFRICA          AF 16,780               Except:  Ghana AF 6,620
                                                 Nigeria  AF 8,060

ASIA            AS  6,630

EUROPE          EU 16,170               Except:  Albania  EU 10,130

NORTH AMERICA   NA     24
   (BAHAMAS)

OCEANIA         OC    803

SOUTH AMERICA,  SA  1,740
CENTRAL AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN

For May, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2000 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 Charge-
                ability Areas
                Except Those
Region          Listed Separately

AFRICA          AF 19,950               Except:  Ghana  AF 8,120
                                                 Nigeria  AF 9,540

ASIA            AS  7,500

EUROPE          EU 18,000               Except:  Albania  EU 10,250

NORTH AMERICA   NA     24
(BAHAMAS)

OCEANIA         OC    815

SOUTH AMERICA,  SA  1,740
CENTRAL AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN

D. VISA AVAILABILITY FOR APRIL

Demand for immigrant visa numbers by INS for adjustment of status cases in all categories, continues to be steady but has not reached the level requiring action at this time. It is anticipated that INS demand for numbers will require the establishment of visa cut-off dates for April in some or all of the CHINA-mainland born and INDIA Employment categories.

To be placed on the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the Visa Bulletin, please provide your e-mail information to the following e-mail address:

VISABULLETIN@STATE.GOV

E. OBTAINING THE MONTHLY VISA BULLETIN

The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs offers the monthly Visa Bulletin on the Internet's World Wide Web. The Internet Web home page address to access the Bulletin is:

http://travel.state.gov

From the home page, select the VISA section containing the Visa Bulletin.

To be placed on the Department of State’s e-mail subscription list for the Visa Bulletin, please provide your e-mail information to the following e-mail address:

VISABULLETIN@STATE.GOV

The Department of State also has available a recorded message with visa cut-off dates which can be heard at (202) 663-1541. The recording is normally updated by the middle of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.

The Visa Bulletin can also be contacted by e-mail at the following address:

VISABULLETIN@STATE.GOV

Department of State Publication 9514
CA/VO:February 8, 2000

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