IMMIGRANT VISA NUMBERS ("Priority Dates") FOR NOVEMBER 2002

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during November. 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 October 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. 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: 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.) 

Priority Dates for Family Based Immigrant Visas 

  All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed MEXICO PHILIPPINES
Family       
1st  15MAR99  01JUN91  01FEB90
2A*  15AUG97  01MAR95  15AUG97
2B  01MAR94  22OCT91  01MAR94
3rd  15NOV96  15AUG92  01NOV89
4th   01NOV90  15AUG90 01NOV81

        *NOTE: For October, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01FEB95. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01FEB95 and earlier than 15JUL97. (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.) 

Priority Dates for Employment-Based Immigrant Visas 

  All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed INDIA  MEXICO PHILIPPINES
Employment-Based 
1st 
2nd 
3rd  C  
Other Workers   
4th 
Certain Religious Workers 
5th 
Targeted Employment 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 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-2003 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 November, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2003 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 7,800 
ASIA: AS 3,300 
EUROPE: EU 14,000 
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS): NA 8 
OCEANIA: OC 150 SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN: SA 475 

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-2003 program ends as of September 30, 2003. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2003 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2003 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2003. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2003 cannot be taken for granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30. Once all numbers provided by law for the DV-2003 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 DECEMBER 

For December, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2003 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 9,800 
ASIA: AS 4,075 
EUROPE: EU 15,850 
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS): NA 10 
OCEANIA: OC 200 
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN: SA 625 

D. VISA AVAILABILITY DURING FISCAL YEAR 2003 

The cut-off date movement during recent months in most Family-sponsored immigrant categories has been much greater than might ordinarily be expected. It should be noted that these rates of cut-off date advances cannot be expected to continue indefinitely. It has been our experience that a significant increase in demand usually follows such rapid movement in the cut-off dates. Heavier demand for numbers in the coming year, especially from the Immigration and Naturalization Service for adjustment of status cases, could limit or end movement in some or all of the cut-off dates. 

F. 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 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 

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 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: October 8, 2002