The 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.
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.
: Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens (21 years of age or older): 23,400 plus any numbers not
required for fourth preference.
: 114,200, plus the number
(if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, and any unused first preference numbers:
A. : 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which
75% are exempt from the per-country limit.
B. : 23% of the overall second preference limitation.
: Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second
: Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three
: Priority Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not
required for fourth and fifth preferences.
: 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.
: 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".
: Certain Special Immigrants: 7.1% of the worldwide level.
: 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.