United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs

VISA BULLETIN

Number 9
Volume VIII
Washington, D.C.

IMMIGRANT NUMBERS FOR AUGUST 1999

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during August. 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 July 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. The fiscal year 1999 limit for family-sponsored preference immigrants determined in accordance with Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is 226,000. The fiscal year 1999 limit for employment-based preference immigrants calculated under INA 201 is 160,898. 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., 27,083 for FY-1999. The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,738.

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.)

PREFERENCES

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

1st              01MAY98        01MAY98    01MAY98    08SEP93   22NOV87

2A*              08APR95        08APR95    08APR95    22MAR94   08APR95

2B               22AUG92        22AUG92    22AUG92    08AUG91   22AUG92

3rd              01AUG95        01AUG95    01AUG95    01MAR91   08SEP87

4th              22JUL88        22JUL88    01NOV86    22JUL88   15MAY79

*NOTE: For August, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 22MAR94. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 22MAR94 and earlier than 08APR95. (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 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              C   

  Other             08MAR93      08MAR93          08MAR93   08MAR93       08MAR93
    Workers

4th                    C           C           C              C          C

  Certain              C           C           C              C          C   
    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 (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 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. Not more than 3,850 visas (7% of the 55,000 visa limit) may be provided to immigrants from any one country.

For AUGUST, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-99 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                Current           

  EUROPE              EU 25,100

  NORTH AMERICA       NA     24
   (BAHAMAS)

  OCEANIA              Current 

  SOUTH AMERICA,      SA  3,071
    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-99 program ends as of September 30, 1999. DV visas may not be issued to DV-99 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-99 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 1999. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-1999 cannot be taken for granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30. Once all numbers provided by law for the DV-99 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 SEPTEMBER

For September, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-99 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows:

            All DV Charge-
                 ability Areas
                 Except Those
  Region         Listed Separately
 
  AFRICA               Current      
  ASIA                 Current          
  EUROPE               Current  
  NORTH AMERICA        Current
   (BAHAMAS)
  OCEANIA              Current  
  SOUTH AMERICA,       Current
    CENTRAL AMERICA,
    and the CARIBBEAN

D. ADVANCE NOTIFICATION OF THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANK CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN OCTOBER FOR THE DV-2000 PROGRAM

For October, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2000 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows:

            All DV Charge-
                 ability Areas
                 Except Those
  Region         Listed Separately
 
  AFRICA              AF 12,001
      
  ASIA                AS  4,201
                
  EUROPE              EU 14,016
  
  NORTH AMERICA       NA     10
   (BAHAMAS)

  OCEANIA             OC    738
  
  SOUTH AMERICA,      SA  1,200
    CENTRAL AMERICA,
    and the CARIBBEAN

E. CHINA-MAINLAND BORN AND INDIA EMPLOYMENT SECOND AND THIRD PREFERENCE VISA AVAILABILITY

Cut-off date movement in the CHINA-mainland born and INDIA Employment Second and Third preference categories during FY-1999 has been greater than might ordinarily be expected. For August, the cut-off dates for these categories have now become "Current". Many of the applicants in these categories are in the United States and seek adjustment of status through the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Once INS begins to bring large numbes of adjustment of status cases to final action, there will be a significant increase in INS number use and these categories may again become oversubscribed, with cut-off dates required. Moreover, in some of the categories these cut-off dates may be earlier than those reached during FY-1999. At this time it is not possible to predict how soon a significantly increased INS number use will influence the determination of cut-off dates.

F. RECENT AMENDMENT TO THE VISA PORTION OF THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL (FAM)

The following Transmittal Letter (TL), which updates the visa portion (Vol.9) of the FAM, is now available:

VISA-192, dated May 14, 1999, which amends 41.104 Notes, 41.104 Exhibit I, and 42.31 Notes. Cost $3.25.

A check payable to the Department of State must accompany the order. This TL may be obtained from:

Distribution Services (OIS/PS/PR) Room B847 A Department of State Washington, D.C. 20520 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 address to access the Bulletin is:

http://travel.state.gov

From the home page, select the Visa section which contains the Visa Bulletin.

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 each Bulletin faxed.

(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 updated in the middle of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.)

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. 20522-0106

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.)

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

VISABULLETIN@STATE.GOV

(The Visa Bulletin is not distributed by e-mail, however.)

Department of State Publication 9514
CA/VO:July 12, 1999

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