United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs

VISA BULLETIN

Number 13
Volume VIII
Washington, D.C.

IMMIGRANT NUMBERS FOR DECEMBER 1999

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during December. 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 November 5th 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             15SEP98         15SEP98         22OCT93         22MAR88

2A*             15SEP95         15SEP95         22JUN94         15SEP95

2B              22NOV92         22NOV92         22AUG91         22NOV92

3rd             08OCT95         08OCT95         01JUL91         15NOV87

4th             22SEP88         15MAR87         22SEP88         15JUL79

*NOTE: For December, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 22JUN94. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 22JUN94 and earlier than 15SEP95. (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            01SEP93     01SEP93         01SEP93         01SEP93
  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 December, 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 12,800               Except: Ghana   AF 6,040
                                                Nigeria AF 5,801
ASIA            AS  4,940

EUROPE          EU 14,200               Except: Albania  EU 4,501

NORTH AMERICA   NA     15
  (BAHAMAS)

OCEANIA         OC    753

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 JANUARY FEBRUARY FOR THE DV-2000 PROGRAM

For January, 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 12,800               Except: Ghana  AF 6,040
                                                        Nigeria  AF 5,801
ASIA                    AS  4,940

EUROPE                  EU 14,200               Except: Albania  EU 5,100

NORTH AMERICA           NA     15
  (BAHAMAS)

OCEANIA                 OC    753

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

For February, 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 13,000               Except: Ghana  AF 6,040
                                                        Nigeria  AF 6,340

ASIA                    AS  5,001

EUROPE                  EU 14,200               Except: Albania  EU 6,455

NORTH AMERICA           NA     15
 (BAHAMAS)

OCEANIA                 OC    753

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

D. VISA AVAILABILITY DURING FISCAL YEAR 2000

The cut-off date movement during the past year in most immigrant categories has continued to be much greater than might ordinarily be expected. This has resulted from a number of factors, such as the implementation of the Affidavit of Support requirements and a continued reduction in demand for numbers by INS District offices. It should be noted that these rates of cut-off date advances can not be expected to continue indefinitely. It has been our experience that a significant increase in demand usually follows such rapid movements in the cut-off dates. Heavier demand for numbers during the coming year, especially in categories where there has been particularly rapid cut-off movement (e.g., Philippines F3 and F4), could prevent any further movement in the cut-off, or could result in the retrogression of some or all of the cut-off dates.

DISCONTINUANCE OF THE PRINTED MONTHLY VISA BULLETIN AND CURRENT SUBSCRIPTION LIST, AND ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW E-MAIL SUBSCRIPTION LIST

For over 30 years, the Visa Office has published the Visa Bulletin on a monthly basis. This free Bulletin has provided the monthly immigrant visa cut-off dates and other pertinent visa-related information. The February 2000 Visa Bulletin will be the last printed edition of the Bulletin, after which the current mailing list will be discontinued. The Visa Office will establish a new E-mail subscription list, which will replace the existing printed copy mailing list. This new e-mail service will allow subscribers to receive the Visa Bulletin information about 2 weeks earlier than is possible with the printed version. Interested parties will also be able to obtain the Visa Bulletin through one of the 3 currently available methods outlined in item G. An on-line archive of the Visa Bulletin is available on the Consular Affairs web site.

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

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

The following Transmittal Letters (TLs), which updates the visa portion (Vol. 9) of the FAM, are now available:

VISA-193, dated June 4, 1999, which updates 41.24 Exhibit I and 41.51 Exhibit I., Cost $3.00.

VISA-194, dated June 15, 1999, which updates 41.101 Regs/Statutes, Cost $1.25.

VISA-195, dated June 18, 1999, which amends 41.2 Regs/Statutes; 42.72 Regs/Statutes; and the removal of 41.114 Regs/Statutes, Notes, Procedural Notes, Cost $4.25.

VISA-196, dated June 30, 1999, which updates 42.62 Regs/Statutes, Cost $1.00.

VISA-197, dated July 15, 1999, which updates 42.12 Notes, Cost $1.75.

VISA-198, dated July 16, 1999, which revises 41.112 Notes, Cost $4.00.

VISA-199, dated July 22, 1999, Part IV Appendix N, 100 Introduction, and Part IV Appendix N, Exhibit II Regional and District Offices of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Cost $8.50.

VISA-200, dated September 2, 1999, which updates 41.82 Notes and 41.107 Notes, Cost $1.75.

VISA-201, dated September 9, 1999, which amends 42.33 Procedural Notes; 42.33 Exhibit I; and Removal of 42.33 Exhibits II through VII, and 42.51 Exhibits I and II, Cost $4.00.

VISA-202
, dated September 10, 1999, which updates 42.63 Regs/Statutes, Cost $1.00.

VISA-203, dated October 1, 1999, which updates 41.62 Regs/Statutes, Cost $2.25.

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

G. 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 page 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 normally updated by the middle of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.

Please see item E in this bulletin.

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

VISABULLETIN@STATE.GOV

Department of State Publication 9514
CA/VO:November 5, 1999

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