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Visa Bulletin for February 1999

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 99011359 (posted Jan. 13, 1999)"

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs

VISA BULLETIN Number 2
Volume VIII
Washington, D.C.

IMMIGRANT NUMBERS FOR FEBRUARY 1999

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during February. 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 January 11th 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                22SEP97	   22SEP97   22SEP97   01AUG93	 08MAY87



2A*                15JUL94	   15JUL94   15JUL94   22JUN93	 15JUL94



2B                 01APR92	   01APR92   01APR92   08JUL91	 01APR92



3rd                22JUN95	   22JUN95   22JUN95   08JUN90	 01APR87



4th                22MAY88	   22MAY88   01JUN86   01DEC87	 01SEP78

*NOTE: For February, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 22JUN93. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 22JUN93 and earlier than 15JUL94. (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	15DEC97	     C	      C	            C   



2nd                    C	22JUL96	  08AUG97     C	            C 



3rd                    C	08NOV94	  22JAN96     C	            C   



  Other             08MAY92	08MAY92	  08MAY92  08MAY92	 08MAY92

    Workers



4th                    C	   C	     C	      C	            C



  Certain              C	   C	     C	      C 	    C   

    Religious				  

    Workers



5th                    C        01DEC97      C        C	            C 



  Targeted Employ-     C        01DEC97      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 February, 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  14,601        



  ASIA                AS   4,105

 

  EUROPE              EU  11,710      EXCEPT:	ALBANIA  EU 6,622

	                                                 

  NORTH AMERICA       NA      24

   (BAHAMAS)

 

  OCEANIA             OC     442  

 

  SOUTH AMERICA,      SA   1,702

    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. RECENT AMENDMENTS TO THE VISA PORTION OF THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL (FAM)

The following Transmittal Letters (TLs), which update the visa portion (Vol. 9) of the FAM, are now available:

VISA-181, dated November 20, 1998, Part 40 (40.23, 40.64, 40.207), Part 41 (41.24), Part 42 (42.3[c], 42.33, 42.74), and Appendix N (exhibit III). Cost $15.50.

VISA-182, dated December 4, 1998, Part 40 (40.32, 40.68), Part 41 (41.21, 41.104), Part 42 (42.63). Cost $11.50.

VISA-183, dated December 18, 1998, Part 40 (40.82), Part 41 (41.62, 41.103), Part 42 (42.32, 42.33 [procedural notes], 42.41). Cost $14.25.

A check payable to the Department of State must accompany the order. These TLs 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:January 11, 1999

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