IMMIGRANT VISA NUMBERS ("Priority Dates") FOR DECEMBER 2000

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 9th 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: 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.)

  All Charge-ability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA
-mainland born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
Family          
1st 01MAR99 01MAR99 01MAR99 22APR94 01MAY88
2A* 15JUL96 15JUL96 15JUL96 01OCT94 15JUL96
2B 15JUN93 15JUN93 15JUN93 15OCT91 15JUN93
3rd 01MAY96 01MAY96 01MAY96 01JUL95 15NOV87
4th 15AUG89 15AUG89 01FEB88 15AUG89 01AUG79


*NOTE: For December, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01OCT94. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01OCT94 and earlier than 15JUL96. (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 CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
Employment-Based          
1st C C C C C
2nd C 01JUN99 01JAN00 C C
3rd C 15APR98 08MAR97 C C
Other Workers 01MAY96 01MAY96 01MAY96 01MAY96 01MAY96
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
5th C C C C C
Targeted Employment Areas/Regional Centers C 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-2001 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 December, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2001 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 13,800  
ASIA AS 5,200 Except: Bangladesh AS 5,150
EUROPE EU 14,200 Except: Albania EU 4,050
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) NA 15  
OCEANIA OC 710  
SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN SA 1,525  

 

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-2001 program ends as of September 30, 2001. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2001 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2001 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2001. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2001 cannot be taken for granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30. Once all numbers provided by law for the DV-2001 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

For January, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2001 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 14,000  
ASIA AS 5,400 Except: Bangladesh AS 5,200
EUROPE EU 14,300 Except: Albania EU 4,600
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) NA 15  
OCEANIA OC 710  
SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN SA 1,525  

D. VISA AVAILABILITY

Employment Fourth Preference, Certain Religious Workers: The Religious Workers Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-409) was signed into law on November 1, 2000. This Act extends the provisions in Section 101(a)(27)(C)(ii)(II) and (III) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for visa issuance to Certain Religious Workers (SR) until September 30, 2003. Therefore, visas are once again available in the Certain Religious Workers (SR) category on a "Current" basis.

Greater availability of Employment-based immigrant visas: On October 17th, the President signed P.L. 106-313. Title I of this law is known as the "American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000" and contains amendments to the INA regarding Employment-based immigrant visas.

In fiscal years 1999 and 2000, due in part to the per-country limits, the annual limit for Employment-based immigrant visas was not reached. P.L. 106-313 makes the following changes in an attempt to rectify the situation with regard to per-country limits:

- Section 106 recaptures those Employment-based visa numbers which were available but not used in fiscal years 1999 and 2000, creating a "pool" of approximately 130,000 numbers. These numbers could be made available to applicants in the Employment First, Second, and Third preference categories beginning in fiscal year 2001.

- Section 104 removes the per-country limit in instances where the overall applicant demand for Employment-based visas is less than the numbers available without regard to those limits. This determination will be made quarterly, based on a comparison of the overall demand versus the available numbers. If the total number of available Employment-based visas is greater than the number of qualified applicants who may otherwise be issued such visas (during the same period), the per-country limitations on Employment-based visas will be lifted for the remainder of that quarter.

E. OBTAINING THE MONTHLY VISA BULLETIN

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

http://travel.state.gov

From the home page, select the Visa section that 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 1522 to have each Bulletin faxed.

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:November 9, 2000