IMMIGRANT VISA NUMBERS ("Priority Dates") FOR AUGUST 2003

 

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 Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status. Allocations were made, to the extent possible under the numerical limitations, for the demand received by July 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.

  1. 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, INDIA and PHILIPPINES.
     
  2. 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
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
Family        
1st 01FEB00 01FEB00 15JUL94 22MAR89
2A* 01JUL98 01JUL98 15JAN96 01JUL98
2B 15JAN95 15JAN95 22NOV91 15JAN95
3rd 01MAY97 01MAY97 22MAY94 22MAR88
4th 22SEP91 22MAY90 22SEP91 01MAR81

*NOTE: For August, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 15JAN96. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 15JAN96 and earlier than01JUL98. (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 C C C C
2nd C C C C
3rd C C C C
Other Workers C C C C
4th C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C
5th C C C C
Targeted Employment Areas/Regional Centers 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-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 August, 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 37,200
ASIA: AS 20,775
EUROPE: EU 37,200
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS): NA Current
OCEANIA: OC Current
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN: SA Current

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 JUNE

For September, 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 49,350 except: Ethiopia AF 43,500
ASIA: AS 21,400
EUROPE: EU 39,100
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS): NA Current
OCEANIA: OC Current
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN: SA Current

D. POTENTIAL RETROGRESSION OF THE INDIA FAMILY FOURTH PREFERENCE CUT-OFF DATE

Continued heavy applicant demand for numbers could require the retrogression of the India Family Fourth preference cut-off date for September. This action may be necessary to hold issuances within the annual numerical limit

E. NEW PROCEDURES FOR OBTAINING AN E-MAIL SUBSCRIPTION TO THE VISA BULLETIN

To be placed on the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the “Visa Bulletin”, please send an E-mail to the following E-mail address:

listserv@calist.state.gov

and in the message body type:
Subscribe Visa-Bulletin First name/Last name
(example: Subscribe Visa-Bulletin Sally Doe)

To be removed from the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the “Visa Bulletin”, send an e-mail message to the following E-mail address:

listserv@calist.state.gov

and in the message body type: Signoff Visa-Bulletin

F. DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY 2004 (DV-2004) RESULTS

The Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, Kentucky has registered and notified the winners of the DV-2004 diversity lottery. The diversity lottery was conducted under the terms of section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and makes available *50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Approximately 111,000 applicants have been registered and notified and may now make an application for an immigrant visa. Since it is likely that some of the first *50,000 persons registered will not pursue their cases to visa issuance, this larger figure should insure that all DV-2004 numbers will be used during fiscal year 2004 (October 1, 2003 until September 30, 2004).

Applicants registered for the DV-2004 program were selected at random from the approximately 7.3 million qualified entries received during the one-month application period that ran from Noon on October 7, 2002 through Noon on November 6, 2002. An additional 2.9 million applications were either received outside of the mail-in period or were disqualified for failing to properly follow directions. The visas have been apportioned among six geographic regions with a maximum of seven percent available to persons born in any single country. During the visa interview, principal applicants must provide proof of a high school education or its equivalent, or show two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience within the past five years. Those selected will need to act on their immigrant visa applications quickly. Applicants should follow the instructions in their notification letter and must fully complete the information requested.

Registrants living legally in the United States who wish to apply for adjustment of their status must contact the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services for information on the requirements and procedures. Once the total *50,000 visa numbers have been used, the program for fiscal year 2004 will end. Selected applicants who do not receive visas by September 30, 2004 will derive no further benefit from their DV-2004 registration. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2004 principal applicants are only entitled to derivative diversity visa status until September 30, 2004.

Only participants in the DV-2004 program who were selected for further processing have been notified. Those who have not received notification were not selected. They may try for the upcoming DV-2005 lottery if they wish. The dates for the mail-in period for the DV-2005 lottery program will be widely publicized during August 2003.

* The Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NCARA) passed by Congress in November 1997 stipulated that up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas be made available for use under the NCARA program. The reduction of the limit of available visas to 50,000 began with DV-2000.

The following is the statistical breakdown by foreign-state chargeability of those registered for the DV-2004 program:

AFRICA

ALGERIA 1,285 ETHIOPIA 6,353 NIGER 35
ANGOLA 17 GABON 14 NIGERIA 7,145
BENIN 209 GAMBIA, THE 65 RWANDA 87
BOTSWANA 8 GHANA 7,040 SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE 0
BURKINA FASO 34 GUINEA 228 SENEGAL 269
BURUNDI 27  GUINEA-BISSAU 6 SEYCHELLES 1
CAMEROON 1,531 KENYA 5,721 SIERRA LEONE 2,149
CAPE VERDE 4 LESOTHO 0 SOMALIA 566
CENTRAL AFRICAN REP. 10 LIBERIA 1,570 SOUTH AFRICA 413
CHAD 41 LIBYA 24 SUDAN 1,183
COMOROS 0 MADAGASCAR 27 SWAZILAND 2
CONGO 31 MALAWI 32 TANZANIA 329
CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE 455 MALI 51 TOGO 2,819
COTE D’IVOIRE 268 MAURITANIA 25 TUNISIA 115
DJIBOUTI 24 MAURITIUS 44 UGANDA 351
EGYPT 4,189 MOROCCO 5,069 ZAMBIA 124
EQUATORIAL GUINEA 1 MOZAMBIQUE 5 ZIMBABWE 168
ERITREA 373  NAMIBIA 10  

ASIA

AFGHANISTAN 46 ISRAEL 465 OMAN 3
BAHRAIN 15 JAPAN 1,291 QATAR 8
BANGLADESH 5,126 JORDAN 125 SAUDI ARABIA 54
BHUTAN 9 NORTH KOREA 4 SINGAPORE 137
BRUNEI 7 KUWAIT 45 SRI LANKA 1,418
BURMA 906 LAOS 10 SYRIA 64
CAMBODIA 237 LEBANON 105 THAILAND 297
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMIN. REGION 293 MALAYSIA 222 TAIWAN 1,833
INDONESIA 844 MALDIVES 0  UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 29
IRAN 1,431 MONGOLIA 65 YEMEN 106
IRAQ 174 NEPAL 4,259  

EUROPE

ALBANIA 3,071  GEORGIA 479 NORWAY 19
ANDORRA 1 GERMANY 1,227 POLAND 5,467
ARMENIA 836 GREECE 66 PORTUGAL 46
Aruba 1 HUNGARY 139 Macau 0
AUSTRIA 64 ICELAND 17 Reunion 2
AZERBAIJAN 305 IRELAND 338 ROMANIA 1,845
BELARUS 966 ITALY 165 RUSSIA 2,600
BELGIUM 46 KAZAKHSTAN 451 SAN MARINO 0
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA 128 KYRGYZSTAN 206 SERBIA & MONTENEGRO 448
BULGARIA 3,482 LATVIA 172 SLOVAKIA 392
CROATIA 73 LIECHTENSTEIN 1 SLOVENIA 8
CYPRUS 11 LITHUANIA 2,059 SPAIN 62
CZECH REPUBLIC 172 LUXEMBOURG 4 SWEDEN 82
DENMARK 39  MACEDONIA, FORMER YUGOSLAV REP. OF 166 SWITZERLAND 183
ESTONIA 71 MALTA 10 TAJIKISTAN 105
FINLAND 44 MOLDOVA 574 TURKEY 2,343
FRANCE 313 MONACO 1 TURKMENISTAN 95
French Guiana 1 NETHERLANDS 94 UKRAINE 4,494
French Polynesia 3 Netherlands Antilles 6 UZBEKISTAN 1,819
Guadeloupe 5 NORTHERN IRELAND 51  

NORTH AMERICA

BAHAMAS, THE 12

OCEANIA

AUSTRALIA 362 MICRONESIA, FEDERATED STATES OF 0 PAPUA NEW GUINEA 3
FIJI 738 NAURU 0 SAMOA 8
NEW ZEALAND 155 TONGA 43 SOLOMON ISLANDS 2
KIRIBATI 0 Cook Islands 0 TUVALU 0
MARSHALL ISLANDS 0 PALAU 0 VANUATU 1

SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, AND THE CARIBBEAN

ARGENTINA 194 ECUADOR 746 SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS 2
BARBADOS 3 GRENADA 6 SAINT LUCIA 5
BELIZE 4 GUATEMALA 26 SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES 5
BOLIVIA 62 GUYANA 22 SURINAME 1
BRAZIL 287 HONDURAS 25 TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO 71
CHILE 23 NICARAGUA 27 URUGUAY 41
COSTA RICA 12 PANAMA 13 VENEZUELA 194
CUBA 674 PARAGUAY 31  

G. 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:July 9, 2003