VISA BULLETIN FOR DECEMBER 2006

Visa Bulletin

Number 100
Volume VIII
Washington, D.C.

VISA BULLETIN FOR DECEMBER 2006

A.  STATUTORY NUMBERS

1. 
This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during
December. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of
State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas;
the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of
Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status. 
Allocations were made, to the extent possible under the numerical
limitations, for the demand received by November 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.
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”.  

Schedule
A Workers: Employment First, Second, and Third preference Schedule A
applicants are entitled to up to 50,000 “recaptured” numbers.

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.)

Fam-ily All Charge- ability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPP-INES
1st  22APR01 22APR01 22APR01 01JAN94 01DEC91
2A 01MAR02 01MAR02 01MAR02 15JAN00 01MAR02
2B 08MAR97 08MAR97 08MAR97 01MAR92 22AUG96
3rd 08DEC98 08DEC98 08DEC98 01JAN95 08FEB91
4th 01DEC95 22MAY95 22SEP95 22NOV93 01JUN84

*NOTE: 
For December, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to
applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than
15JAN00.  2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to
applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority
dates beginning 15JAN00 and earlier than 01MAR02. (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
Except
Those
Listed

CHINA-
mainland born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIP-PINES
Employ-ment
-Based

         
1st C C C C C
2nd C 22APR05 08JAN03 C C
3rd 01AUG02 01AUG02 22APR01 08MAY01 01AUG02
Schedule
A
Workers
U U U U U
Other
Workers
01OCT01 01OCT01 01OCT01 01OCT01 01OCT01
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
Iraqi & Afghani Translators 18SEP06 18SEP06 18SEP06 18SEP06 18SEP06
5th C C C C C
Targeted Employ-ment Areas/
Regional Centers
C C C C C

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.

Employment
Third Preference Other Workers Category:  Section 203(e) of the NACARA,
as amended by Section 1(e) of Pub. L. 105-139, provides that once the
Employment Third Preference Other Worker (EW) cut-off date has reached
the priority date of the latest EW petition approved prior to November
19, 1997, the 10,000 EW numbers available for a fiscal year are to be
reduced by up to 5,000 annually beginning in the following fiscal
year.  This reduction is to be made for as long as necessary to offset
adjustments under the NACARA program.  Since the EW cut-off date
reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the
EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.

B.  DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY

Section
203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides a maximum of up
to 55,000 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.  The Nicaraguan
and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November
1997 stipulates that beginning with DV-99, and for as long as
necessary, up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas
will be made available for use under the NACARA program.  This reduction has resulted in the DV-2007 annual limit being reduced to 50,000.  DV visas are divided among six geographic regions.  No one country can receive more than seven percent of the available
diversity visas in any one year.

For
December, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to
qualified DV-2007 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:

Region All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately  
AFRICA 10,300

Except:
Egypt
7,700
Ethiopia
7,300
Nigeria
5,900

ASIA 3,500  
EUROPE 7,700  
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 7  
OCEANIA 375  
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 525  

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-2007 program ends as of September 30, 2007.  DV visas may not be
issued to DV-2007 applicants after that date.  Similarly, spouses and
children accompanying or following to join DV-2007 principals are only
entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2007.  DV visa
availability through the very end of FY-2007 cannot be taken for
granted.  Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.

C.  ADVANCE NOTIFICATION OF THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANKCUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN JANUARY

For
January, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to
qualified DV-2007 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:

Region All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately  
AFRICA 11,300

Except:
Egypt
10,900
Ethiopia 9,000
Nigeria 7,000

ASIA 3,800  
EUROPE 9,900  
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 7  
OCEANIA 460  
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 700  

D.  SCHEDULE A WORKER VISA CATEGORY

The
50,000 numbers provided under Title V, Section 502 of the REAL ID Act
of 2005 (Division B of Pub. L. 109-13 enacted May 11, 2005) have all
been allocated.  Therefore, the “Schedule A Worker” category has become
“Unavailable” for December.

The Schedule A Worker category is shown in the December cut-off date table, but will be removed from future listings.

E.  SPECIAL IMMIGRANT (SI) STATUS FOR PERSONS SERVING AS TRANSLATORS WITH THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES  

The
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (Title X,
Section 1059 of Public Law 109-163 enacted January 6, 2006) established
a new immigrant visa classification for self-petitioning Iraqi or
Afghani nationals who have worked directly with the United States Armed
Forces as translators for a period of at least 12 months.  The total
number of principal aliens who may be provided special immigrant status
under this provision may not exceed 50 in any fiscal year.  This new
classification is included in the Employment Fourth preference
category. 

It has been necessary to establish a cut-off date for this classification in an effort to hold number use within the annual
limit.  That cut-off date for this Iraqi and Afghani Translator category is:  18SEP06

F. OBTAINING THE MONTHLY VISA BULLETIN

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs offers the monthly “Visa Bulletin” on the INTERNET’S WORLDWIDE 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.

To
be placed on the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the
“Visa Bulletin”, please send an E-mail to the following E-mail address:

listserv@calist.state.gov

and in the message body type:
Subscribe Visa-Bulletin First name/Last name
(example: Subscribe Visa-Bulletin Sally Doe)

To be removed from the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the “Visa Bulletin”, send an e-mail message to the
following E-mail address :

listserv@calist.state.gov

and in the message body type: Signoff Visa-Bulletin

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

Readers may submit questions regarding Visa Bulletin related items by E-mail at the following address:

VISABULLETIN@STATE.GOV

(This address cannot be used to subscribe to the Visa Bulletin.)

Department of State Publication 9514
CA/VO:November 8, 2006

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