A. STATUTORY NUMBERS (This communication provides priority dates and other transitional information as taken from the State Department’s Visa Bulletin released October 10, 1996.) On the following chart, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed; “C” means current, i.e., numbers are available for all qualified applicants; and “U” means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available.


All Charge-
     ability Areas  
     Except Those        
     Listed              INDIA          MEXICO         PHILIPPINES 

1st  01JAN96             01JAN96        22MAR92        20JUN86

2A*  22JAN93             22JAN93        08APR92        22JAN93

2B   01DEC90             01DEC90        01DEC90        01DEC90

3rd  01SEP93             01SEP93        22NOV87        01SEP85

4th  15APR86             22OCT84        15JUL84        31OCT77


*NOTE: For NOVEMBER, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 08APR92. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 08APR92 and earlier than 22JAN93. (2A numbers subject to per-country limit are “unavailable” for applicants chargeable to MEXICO.)


     All Charge-
     ability Areas  
     Except Those   
     Listed              INDIA          MEXICO         PHILIPPINES 

1st  C                   C              C              C

2nd  C                   22NOV94        C              C

3rd  C                   01FEB94        C              01JUL95

Other 01JUN89            01JUN89        01JUN89        01JUN89

4th  C                   C              C              01FEB96

Certain  C               C              C              01FEB96   
Religious Workers

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 (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 NOVEMBER, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries on a CURRENT basis.

(NOTE: All regions/countries will be “Current” for December as well. For January, a rank cut-off will be established for Africa and Asia (regional) as well as Bangladesh, Ghana, and Nigeria (country) to hold issuance within the annual limits. All other areas will remains Current for January. It remains to be seen if applicant demand will increase sufficiently to require oversubscription of any region/country for 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-97 program ends as of September 30, 1997. DV visas may not be issued to DV-97 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-97 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 1997.


Family 2nd Preference: The limit for FY-1997, set under the terms of Sections 201 and 203 of the INA, will provide only about 114,200 numbers during FY-97. For FY-96, there were about 200,000 Family 2nd preference numbers. Because of the lower numerical limit there was retrogression in the Family 2B cut-off date for all countries for October, and in the MEXICO Family 2A cut-off date for November.

Not only are the visa numerical limits lower for FY-97, but there is also heavy demand for numbers (particularly by INS for adjustment of status cases). It is not possible to predict future movements in the 2A and 2B cut-off dates. Very little advance in the cut-off dates for these categories is expected during FY- 97, however, and future retrogressions cannot be ruled out.

INDIA Employment 2nd and 3rd Preferences: These categories are oversubscribed, and cut-off dates have been established due to heavy applicant demand, primarily by INS adjustment of status cases. During FY-97, 2,803 visa numbers are provided by law for each of these INDIA categories. The numbers will be made available in monthly increments over the course of FY-97. Visa demand is very much in excess of the limits and cut-off date movements are likely to be slow. To the extent that visa demand permits, cut-off dates will advance. If there are unused INDIA Employment 1st preference numbers which are available to fall into 2nd Preference later in the fiscal year, the movement for the cut-off date may accelerate.

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Disclaimer: This newsletter is provided as a public service and not intended to establish an attorney client relationship. Any reliance on information contained herein is taken at your own risk. The information provided in this article has not been updated since its original posting and you should not rely on it until you consult counsel to determine if the content is still valid. We keep older articles online because it helps in the understanding of the development of immigration law.

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