Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 98030959 (posted Mar. 9, 1998)"
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
IMMIGRANT NUMBERS FOR APRIL 1998
A. STATUTORY NUMBERS
1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during April.
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 March 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:
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 08SEP96 08SEP96 08SEP96 15JUL93 29DEC86
2A* 22NOV93 22NOV93 22NOV93 15JAN93 22NOV93
2B 15SEP91 15SEP91 15SEP91 15JUN91 15SEP91
3rd 01NOV94 01NOV94 01NOV94 15JUN89 15NOV86
4th 22NOV87 22NOV87 22JAN86 15FEB87 22APR78
*NOTE: For April, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to
applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 15JAN93. 2A numbers
SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries
EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 15JAN93 and earlier than 22NOV93. (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 01JUN97 C C C
2nd C 22APR96 08AUG96 C C
3rd C 08FEB94 08MAY95 C C
Other 08MAR91 08MAR91 08MAR91 08MAR91 08MAR91
4th C C C C C
Certain 01AUG97 01AUG97 01AUG97 01AUG97 01AUG97
5th C C C C C
Targeted 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 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. DV visas are divided among six geographic regions. Not more than 3,850
visas (7% of the 55,000 visa limit) may be provided to immigrants from any one
For April, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-98
applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries on a "CURRENT" basis, except
as listed below.
All DV Charge-
Region Listed Separately
AFRICA AF 30,610
ASIA AS 11,006 EXCEPT: BANGLADESH AS 6,205
EUROPE EU 17,711 EXCEPT: ALBANIA EU 11,902
BULGARIA EU 16,180
NORTH AMERICA CURRENT
OCEANIA OC 584
SOUTH AMERICA, CURRENT
and the CARIBBEAN
(NOTE: It remains to be seen if applicant demand will increase sufficiently to
require oversubscription of any other region/country in a subsequent month.)
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-98 program ends as of September 30, 1998. DV visas may not be issued to DV-98 applicants after
that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-98 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September
30, 1998. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-1998 cannot be taken for
granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30. Once all numbers
provided by law for the DV-98 program have been used, no further issuances will be
C. RECENT AMENDMENT TO THE VISA PORTION OF THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL (FAM)
The following Transmittal Letter (TL), which updates the visa portion (Vol. 9) of the
FAM, is now available:
VISA-176, dated February 6, 1998, Part IV, Appendix C for: Armenia; Azerbaijani,
Cyprus; El Salvador; France; Georgia; Guyana; Hong Kong; Japan; Liechtenstein; New
Zealand; Serbia and Montenegro; South Africa; Switzerland; Taiwan; Togo; Tunisia;
United Kingdom; Ukraine; and Vietnam. Cost $24.25.
A check payable to the Department of State must accompany the order. This TL may be
Distribution Services (OIS/PS/PR)
Room B847 A
Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520
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.
In addition to the Internet, the Visa Bulletin can be accessed and downloaded from
the Consular Affairs electronic bulletin board. Those with a computer and modem
should dial (301) 946-4400. The login is travel; the password is info. No special
software is required.
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:March 9, 1998
© 1999, American Immigration Lawyers Association