Visa Bulletin for May 1996

Visa Bulletin
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs

Number 62 Volume VII
Washington, D.C.



1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during May. 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 April 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.

2. The fiscal year 1996 limit for family-sponsored preference immigrants determined in accordance with Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is 311,819. The fiscal year 1996 limit for employment-based preference immigrants calculated under INA 201 is 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., 31,627 for FY 1996. The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 9,036.

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 300 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: 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.)


        All Charge-
        ability Areas   
        Except Those    
        Listed          INDIA      MEXICO     PHILIPPINES


1st         C             C        01APR95      18MAR86
2A*      01DEC92       01DEC92     01MAY92      01DEC92
2B       01JAN91       01JAN91     01JAN91      01JAN91
3rd      01AUG93       01AUG93     15OCT87      15FEB85
4th      15FEB86       08OCT84     01JUL85      01OCT77

*NOTE: For MAY, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01MAY92. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01MAY92 and earlier than 01DEC92.

(2A numbers subject to per-country limit are "unavailable" for applicants chargeable to MEXICO.) (The three-year transition program which had provided additional visas for spouses/children of legalization beneficiaries has ended; petitions approved on behalf of such spouses/children continue to accord them status in the Family 2A preference, however.)

     All Charge-
     ability Areas   
     Except Those    
     Listed          INDIA       MEXICO      PHILIPPINES


1st       C            C            C             C  
2nd       C            C            C             C   
3rd       C            C            C          01DEC94
Other     U            U            U             U   

4th       C            C            C          08NOV94

Certain   C            C            C          08NOV94

5th       C            C            C             C 

Targeted  C            C            C             C  

Employment Areas/
Regional Centers

The Department of State has available a recorded message with visa availability information which can be heard at: (area code 202) 663-1541. This recording will be updated in the middle of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.


Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides 55,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year to provide 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 country.

For May, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified 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 18,534
ASIA              AS 08,602   EXCEPT:  BANGLADESH  AS 05,072
EUROPE            EU 33,310   EXCEPT:  POLAND  EU 04,586
OCEANIA           OC 00,554


Under the terms of INA 203(b)(3)(B), not more than 10,000 visas are available each year for the "Other Worker" (EW) category. Because of very heavy INS number use for adjustment of status cases in recent months, allocations in this category have now reached the 10,000 annual limit for FY-1996. No further "Other Worker" allocations will be possible through the end of the fiscal year, that is, September 30, 1996.


Heavy applicant demand in the INDIA Employment THIRD preference is likely to require the establishment of a cut-off date or to exhaust FY-1996 numbers for this INDIA category by May. The availability of INDIA Employment THIRD preference numbers for June and later months of FY-1996 cannot be taken for granted, therefore.

Increasing applicant demand in the MEXICO Family FIRST preference is likely to mean that FY-1996 numbers in this MEXICO category will be "Unavailable" by July.


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

VISA-134, dated February 16, 1996, updating some pages of Appendix C.
VISA-135, dated February 29, 1996, amending several sections of Parts I, II, and III.
VISA-136, dated March 22, 1996, updating some pages of Appendix C.
VISA-137, dated April 1, 1996, which amends Sections 40.24 Notes and 40.111 Notes.
VISA-138, dated April 2, 1996, amending Section 41.2 Notes and adding Exhibit IV.
VISA-139, dated April 3, 1996, updating Section 40.41 Exhibit I.
There is a charge of $15.75 per copy of VISA-134, $7.50 per copy of VISA-135, $5.00 per copy of VISA-136, $1.00 per copy of VISA-137, $1.75 per copy of VISA-138, and $0.75 per copy of VISA-139. 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 now offers the monthly "Visa Bulletin" on the Internet's World Wide Web. The Iinternet 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 (202) 647-9225. No password or special software are 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 the Bulletin faxed to you.

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. 20522-0113. 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

© 1999, American Immigration Lawyers Association

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 96050158.