United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs

VISA BULLETIN


U.S. Department of State
96/02/01 Visa Bulletin Number 59, Volume VII
Bureau of Consular Affairs


                       United States Department of State 
                           Bureau of Consular Affairs 
 
 
Number 59      Volume VII                         Washington, D.C. 
_____________________________________________________________________ 

                      IMMIGRANT NUMBERS FOR FEBRUARY 1996 
 
 
A.  STATUTORY NUMBERS 
 
1.  This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers 
during February.  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 January 17th 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 empolyment-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., a minimum of 25,620.  The 
dependent area limit is set at 2%, or a minimum of 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 300 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  CHINA-  
          Except Those   mainland  
          Listed         born     INDIA     MEXICO     PHILIPPINES 
Family 
 
1st         C           C           C        01APR95     04FEB86 
 
2A*      15SEP92     15SEP92     15SEP92     08MAR92     15SEP92 
 
2B       15AUG90     15AUG90     15AUG90     15AUG90     15AUG90 
 
3rd      15MAY93     15MAY93     15MAY93     01SEP87     08AUG84 
 
4th      01NOV85     01NOV85     01AUG84     01MAR85     19SEP77 
 
 
*NOTE:  For FEBRUARY, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are 
available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier 
than 08MAR92.  2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to 
applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates 
beginning 08MAR92 and earlier than 15SEP92.  (2A numbers subject to per-
country limit are "unavailable" for applicants chargeable to MEXICO.)  
(The three-year transition program which had provided additional visas 
for spouses/children of legalization beneficiaries has ended; petitions 
approved on behalf of such spouses/children continue to accord them 
status in the Family 2A preference, however.) 
 
 
 
            All Charge- 
            ability Areas    CHINA- 
            Except Those     mainland   
            Listed           born       INDIA    MEXICO    PHILIPPINES 
Employment-Based 
 
1st              C           C           C           C           C    
 
2nd              C           C           C           C           C    
 
3rd              C           C           C           C        01MAY94 
 
  Other       01MAR91     01MAR91     01MAR91     01MAR91     01MAR91 
    Workers 
 
4th              C           C           C           C        08MAR94 
 
  Certain        C           C           C           C        08MAR94 
    Religious 
    Workers           
 
5th              C           C           C           C           C    
 
  Targeted Employ-   C       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:  (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 55,000 
immigrant visas each fiscal year to provide 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.  Not more than 3,850 visas (7% of the 55,000 visa 
limit) may be provided to immigrants from any one country. 
 
The allotment of FY-1996 visa numbers for each region is as follows:  
Africa, 20,426; Asia, 7,087; Europe, 24,257; North America (Bahamas), 8; 
South America, Central America, and the Caribbean, 2,407; and Oceania, 
815. 
 
For February, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to 
qualified 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              CURRENT 
 
  ASIA                AS 06,358       EXCEPT:  BANGLADESH  AS 04,085 
  
  EUROPE              CURRENT  
  
  NORTH AMERICA       CURRENT 
   (BAHAMAS) 
  
  OCEANIA             OC 00,451 
  
  SOUTH AMERICA,      CURRENT 
    CENTRAL AMERICA, 
    and the CARIBBEAN 
 
 
NOTE:  Increased demand for DV numbers by applicants from Oceania has 
made necessary the establishment of the above rank cut-off for February.  
For March, it will be necessary to establish a rank cut-off for Poland 
(country) because of heavy applicant demand for numbers.  For April, it 
will also be necessary to establish regional rank cut-offs for Africa 
and Europe.  
 
 
C.  CHANGE IN VISA SERVICE AT CONSULAR OFFICE IN NEW ZEALAND 
 
Effective January 1996, the Embassy at Wellington, New Zealand ceased 
nonimmigrant visa operations for the general public, except in the A, G, 
and J (for USIS-funded programs) categories.  These categories will 
continue to be issued at Wellington until April 30, 1996.  After that 
date the Consulate General, Auckland will be the sole visa processing 
office in New Zealand. 
 
 
D.  RECENT AMENDMENTS TO THE VISA PORTION OF THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL 
(FAM) 
 
Transmittal Letter VISA-130 dated November 30, 1995, VISA-131 dated 
December 1, 1995, and VISA-132 dated December 18, 1995 which updates the 
visa portion (Vol. 9) of the FAM, are now available. 
 
VISA-130 amends 9 FAM, Part II, Section 41.122 Procedural Notes which 
have been rewritten reflecting instructions for consular officers 
regarding the revocation of nonimmigrant visas.  VISA-131 amends 9 FAM, 
Part IV, Appendix C regarding documentation requirements and changes in 
reciprocity agreements between the United States and Finland, Germany, 
Greece, Liberia, Lithuania, Singapore, and South Africa. VISA-132 amends 
9 FAM, Part II, Section 41.51 Exhibit I to include Moldova in the 
countries having Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor agreements with the 
United States.  
 
 
There is a charge of $1.75 per copy of VISA-130, $4.50 per copy of VISA-
131 and $1.50 per copy of VISA-132.  A check payable to the Department 
of State must accompany the order.  These TLs may be obtained from: 
 
                            Distribution Services (OIS/PS/PR) 
                            Room B847 A 
                            Department of State 
                            Washington, D.C.  20520 
 
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OBTAINING THE MONTHLY VISA BULLETIN:  The Department of State's Bureau 
of Consular Affairs now offers the monthly "Visa Bulletin" on the 
INTERNET.  The INTERNET address to access the Bulletin is 
dosfan.lib.uic.edu.  From the gopher menu, select Consular and Travel 
Information and you will find the Visa Bulletin in the Bureau of 
Consular Affairs section. 
 
In addition to the INTERNET, the "Visa Bulletin" can be accessed and 
downloaded from the Consular Affairs electronic bulletin board.  Those 
with a computer and modem should dial (202) 647-9225.  No password or 
special software are required. 
 
Individuals may also obtain the "Visa Bulletin" by FAX.  From a FAX 
phone, dial (202) 647-3000.  Follow the prompts and enter in the code 
1038 to have the Bulletin FAXed to you. 
 
To be placed on the Department of State's Visa Bulletin mailing list or 
to change an address, please write to:  Visa Bulletin, Visa Office, 
Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20522-0113.  Only addresses within 
the U.S. postal system may be placed on the mailing list.  Please 
include a recent mailing label when reporting changes or corrections of 
address; the Postal Service does NOT automatically notify the Visa 
Office of address changes.  (Obtaining the Visa Bulletin by mail is a 
much slower option than any of the alternatives mentioned above.) 
 
 
Department of State Publication 9514 
CA/VO:January 17, 1996 
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