Posted on: October 31st, 1996
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A. STATUTORY NUMBERS (This communication provides priority dates and other transitional information as taken from the State Department’s Visa Bulletin released September 11, 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   08JAN92   15JUN86

2A*       22JAN93        22JAN93   08JUN92   22JAN93

2B        15NOV90        15NOV90   15NOV90   15NOV90

3rd       15AUG93        15AUG93   08NOV87   01SEP85

4th       15MAR86        15OCT84   01DEC83   22OCT77


*NOTE:  For OCTOBER, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are
available to applicants from all countries with priority dates
earlier than 08JUN92.  2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are
available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO
with priority dates beginning 08JUN92 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              01AUG94   C         C

3rd       C              08JAN94   C         01JUL95

Other     01APR89        01APR89   01APR89   01APR89

4th       C              C         C         01SEP95

Certain   C              C         C         01SEP95   
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 OCTOBER, 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 November and December as well. 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.




Worldwide Family First preference has become oversubscribed as of October and there is a Family First preference cut-off date for all countries. A main reason for the oversubscription is the naturalization of Family 2B petitioners during the long wait between petitioning and visa issuance in that category. Naturalization of the petitioner automatically converts a Family 2B case to Family First preference. The priority dates of many such converted cases are relatively early.


For October a cut-off date of 01JAN96 has been established for most countries. (The Family First preference category is heavily oversubscribed for Mexico and Philippines, and an earlier cut-off date has been set for allocations in those chargeabilities.)




Fiscal (visa) year 1997 begins on October 1, 1996. Preliminary calculations of the FY-1997 annual and pre-country numerical limitations indicate there will be significantly fewer visa numbers for FY-1997 than there were for FY-1996. The FY-1996 limits benefited from the carry-over of large amounts of unused FY-1995 numbers. Current indications suggest that, as a result of increased immigration in the immediate relative category and significantly greater preference number used by INS offices for adjustment of status applicants, there will be no unused FY-1996 numbers for carry-over into FY-1997, however.

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