The Numbers Game

According to the VISA Bulletin for February 2009, the availability of immigrant numbers resembles a statistical Checkers game.

The VISA bulletin for February 2009 is out, and comes with its share of intriguing numbers. In the category Family-Sponsored Preferences, it begins with first preference, which involves unmarried sons and daughters of citizens; the ceiling has been set at 23,400. Second preference – here’s comes the flood by comparison – spouses and children, and unmarried sons and daughters of permanent residents = 114,200. Third preference includes married sons and daughters of citizens, and that number is also 23,400 – which seems arbitrary. Fourth preference consists of brothers and sisters of adult citizens, a number that seems more generous at 65,000.

For employment-based preferences, suffice it to say the percentage is identical for priority workers, members of professions holding advanced degrees, persons of exceptional ability, skilled workers, professionals, and other workers: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level.

In a category never clearly delineated, it seems that “certain special immigrants,” whoever they are, will only be allowed to gain admission into the United States at 7.1% of the worldwide level, the same as the more generally recognized category employment creation, which includes not less than 3,000 of whose number will be “set aside” for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, which in the U.S. economic climate of early 2009, could be virtually any rural area.

Some countries are considered to be “oversubscribed” by the admitting U.S. government paid powers-that-be. Among these are China (mainland born, as people from Taiwan seem much more welcome), India, Mexico, and the Philippines. We probably won’t be seeing Pakistan on the oversubscribed list anytime soon; come to think of it, it’s not on any list of preferred immigration.

The diversity immigrant quota seems quite welcoming – except for Bangladesh and Nigeria where the ceiling is 9,550. The specified number for the Bahamas seems to be 6. Forget about the admissions of even one large Bahamian family.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at

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