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

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during September. 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 August 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.

2. The fiscal year 2000 limit for family-sponsored preference immigrants determined in accordance with Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is 294,601. The fiscal year 2000 limit for employment-based preference immigrants calculated under INA 201 is 142,299. 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., 30,583 for FY-2000. The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 8,738.

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.)

  All Chargeability Areas
Except Those Listed
CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
Family          
1st 15JAN99 15JAN99 15JAN99 08APR94 08APR88
2A* 15APR96 15APR96 15APR96 08SEP94 15APR96
2B 01APR93 01APR93 01APR93 01OCT91 01APR93
3rd 08FEB96 08FEB96 08FEB96 01APR94 15NOV87
4th 01JUN89 01JUN89 01JAN88 01JUN89 01AUG79

*NOTE: For September, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 08SEP94. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 08SEP94 and earlier than 15APR96. (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 Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
Employment-Based
         
1st C C C C C
2nd C 01MAR99 01NOV99 C C
3rd C 01MAR98 08FEB97 C C
Other Workers 01AUG95 01AUG95 01AUG95 01AUG95 01AUG95
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-2000 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 September, 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 Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately  
AFRICA CURRENT Except: Nigeria AF 13,676
ASIA CURRENT  
EUROPE EU 21,030 Except: Albania EU 14,669
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) CURRENT  
OCEANIA OC 850  
SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA and the CARIBBEAN SA 2,011  

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 OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER

For October, 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  
AFRICA AF 12,500  
ASIA AS 5,100  
EUROPE EU 14,000 Except: Albania EU 3,950
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 10  
OCEANIA OC 675  
SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA and the CARIBBEAN SA 1,350  

For November, 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  
AFRICA AF 12,903  
ASIA AS 5,150 Except: Bangladesh AS 5,100
EUROPE EU 14,100 Except: Albania EU 4,016
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) NA 15  
OCEANIA OC 700  
SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN SA 1,500  

D. VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS

Item D of Visa Bulletin number 21 advised readers that the FY-2000 annual numerical limit had been increased by over 68,500 numbers. As a result, the cut-off date movement in several immigrant categories for August and September has been greater than might ordinarily be expected. The amount of demand being generated by these movements may require the retrogression of some Family preference cut-off dates during FY-2001 so that allocations will stay within the annual numerical limits. At present, it is not possible to say if or when this may occur.

Employment FOURTH preference, Certain Religious Workers: 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) expire as of September 30, 2000. Applicants who qualify for SR status must either adjust status or immigrate on or before September 30, 2000. This also includes the accompanying spouses and children of such religious workers. On or after October 1, 2000, qualifying religious workers cannot immigrate under the current provision. (The special immigrant classification for Ministers of Religion is permanent, however, and will not be affected by the expiration of the provisions for other religious workers.)

There is currently legislation under consideration to extend the SR category expiration date or make it permanent. If this proposed legislation becomes law, we will notify readers in an upcoming Visa Bulletin.

F. 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 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:August 8, 2000