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Visa Bulletin for March 1999

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 99021158 (posted Feb. 11, 1999)"

United States Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs

VISA BULLETIN Number 3
Volume VIII
Washington, D.C.

IMMIGRANT NUMBERS FOR MARCH 1999

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during March. 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 February 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:

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.)

PREFERENCES

	          All Charge-

	          ability Areas	    CHINA-   

	          Except Those	    mainland    

	          Listed	    born	INDIA	 MEXICO	    PHILIPPINES

Family

1st                15OCT97	   15OCT97     15OCT97	 01AUG93     08JUN87

2A*                22AUG94	   22AUG94     22AUG94	 22JUL93     22AUG94

2B                 22APR92	   22APR92     22APR92	 15JUL91     22APR92

3rd                08JUL95	   08JUL95     08JUL95   22JUL90     22APR87

4th                08JUN88	   08JUN88     01JUN86	 08JAN88     08OCT78

*NOTE: For March, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 22JUL93. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 22JUL93 and earlier than 22AUG94. (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 Charge-
	          ability Areas	CHINA-   
	          Except Those	mainland    
	          Listed	born	    INDIA	MEXICO	PHILIPPINES

Employment-  Based

1st                    C	22JAN98	       C	   C	   C   

2nd                    C	08SEP96	    08SEP97   	   C	   C 

3rd                    C	01JAN95	    08FEB96	   C	   C   

  Other             01JUL92	01JUL92	    01JUL92	01JUL92	01JUL92
  Workers

4th                    C	   C	       C	   C	   C

  Certain              C	   C	       C	   C 	   C   
  Religious				  
  Workers

5th                    C        15JAN98        C           C	   C 

  Targeted Employ-     C        15JAN98        C           C	   C 
  ment 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 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 country.

For March, 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-
                 ability Areas
                 Except Those
  Region         Listed Separately
 
  AFRICA              AF 17,048        

  ASIA                AS  4,661
 
  EUROPE              EU 14,490      EXCEPT:	ALBANIA  EU 8,876
	                                                 
  NORTH AMERICA       NA     24
   (BAHAMAS)
 
  OCEANIA             OC    543  
 
  SOUTH AMERICA,      SA  1,850
    CENTRAL AMERICA,
    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 possible.

C. VISA SERVICES AT ISTANBUL, TURKEY

The Consulate General at Istanbul, Turkey processes only NONIMMIGRANT visas other than Fiance (K) visas. IMMIGRANT and FIANCE (K) visa services for residents of Turkey are provided by the American Embassy at Ankara, Turkey. This information is noted because many inquiries being received at Istanbul concern categories which that office does not handle.

D. 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-184, dated January 22, 1999, Parts 40, 41 42. Cost $21.00.

A check payable to the Department of State must accompany the order. This TL may be obtained from:

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:

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 1038 to have each Bulletin faxed.

(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:

Visa Bulletin
Visa Office
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:

VISABULLETIN@STATE.GOV

(The Visa Bulletin is not distributed by e-mail, however.)

Department of State Publication 9514
CA/VO:February 8, 1999

 
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