Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 98121157 (posted Dec. 11, 1998)"
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
IMMIGRANT NUMBERS FOR JANUARY 1999
A. STATUTORY NUMBERS
1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during January.
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 December 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.
1. 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:
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.
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.)
ability Areas CHINA-
Except Those mainland
Listed born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st 08SEP97 08SEP97 08SEP97 01AUG93 22APR87
2A* 15JUN94 15JUN94 15JUN94 01JUN93 15JUN94
2B 15MAR92 15MAR92 15MAR92 08JUL91 15MAR92
3rd 01JUN95 01JUN95 01JUN95 01MAY90 22MAR87
4th 08MAY88 08MAY88 22MAY86 01NOV87 15AUG78
*NOTE: For January, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to
applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01JUN93. 2A numbers
SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries
EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01JUN93 and earlier than 15JUN94. (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.)
ability Areas CHINA-
Except Those mainland
Listed born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C 22NOV97 C C C
2nd C 22JUN96 22JUL97 C C
3rd C 08OCT94 15JAN96 C C
Other 22MAR92 22MAR92 22MAR92 22MAR92 22MAR92
4th C C C C C
Certain C C C C C
5th C 15NOV97 C C C
Targeted Employ- C 15NOV97 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 50,000 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. Not more than 3,500
visas (7% of the 50,000 visa limit) may be provided to immigrants from any one
For January, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified
DV-99 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-
Region Listed Separately
AFRICA AF 11,688
ASIA AS 3,272
EUROPE EU 8,694 EXCEPT: ALBANIA EU 6,622
NORTH AMERICA NA 24
OCEANIA OC 330
SOUTH AMERICA, SA 1,442
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-99 program ends as of September 30, 1999. DV visas may not be issued to DV-99 applicants after
that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-99 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September
30, 1999. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-1999 cannot be taken for
granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30. Once all numbers
provided by law for the DV-99 program have been used, no further issuances will be
C. MAILING OF AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT FORM I-864 TO U.S. PETITIONER
Effective December 14, the Department of State is implementing a new procedure to
assist prospective immigrants to comply with the requirement to demonstrate that they
are not likely to become a Public Charge to the U.S. Government. This is another
example of the Department's effort to streamline immigrant visa processing, and to
use its resources as efficiently as possible.
The State Department's National Visa Center (NVC), located in Portsmouth, N.H., will
mail the affidavit of support form I-864 directly to the U.S. petitioner who is
sponsoring the prospective immigrant's visa application. Under the old system, NVC
sent the form to the applicant, who then had to forward it to the petitioner in the
United States. In most cases, NVC will instruct the petitioner to send the completed
affidavit of support form to the applicant for presentation to the Embassy or
Consulate at the time of the visa interview.
However, beginning January 4, 1999, for the State Department's three largest
immigrant visa processing posts (Ciudad Juarez, Manila, and Santo Domingo), NVC will
instruct the petitioner to return the completed form to NVC for a technical review.
NVC will verify that the form has been completed, signed and notarized and that the
requisite tax returns are present. If it is determined that one or more of these
steps has not been done, NVC will correspond with the petitioner to assist him or her
in properly completing the form. NVC then forwards the file to the Embassy or
Consulate where the interview takes place. The final decision as to the sufficiency
of the affidavit is made by the interviewing consular officer.
By having NVC send the affidavit of support form directly to the petitioner, and by
pre-screening the completed form for our three largest posts, we hope to reduce
processing time and improve the likelihood that the form will be fully completed by
the time of the visa interview. Using these steps, we can minimize the number of
refusals due to incomplete documentation, and save the applicant from having to make
unnecessary visits to our Embassies and Consulates.
Readers are reminded that an I-864 affidavit of support if required by:
* All Family-based immigrants, including adoptees (but self-petitioning
widow/ers and battered spouses and children are exempt from this
* Those Employment-based immigrants who are petitioned by a relative or by a
business in which a relative has significant ownership interest.
Diversity visa (DV) cases do not require an I-864, and are not affected.
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:
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
(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 updated in the middle
of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.)
To be placed on the Department of State's Visa Bulletin mailing list or to change an
address, please write to:
Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20522-0106
Only addresses within the U.S. postal system may be placed on the mailing list.
Please include a recent mailing label when reporting changes or corrections of
address; the Postal Service does NOT automatically notify the Visa Office of address
changes. (Obtaining the Visa Bulletin by mail is a much slower option than any of
the alternatives mentioned above.)
The Visa Bulletin can also be contacted by E-mail at the following address:
(The Visa Bulletin is not distributed by e-mail, however.)
Department of State Publication 9514
CA/VO:December 8, 1998