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.
First (FB1): Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens (21 years of age or older): 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. (FB2A) Spouses and Children (Under 21 years of age): 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;
B. (FB2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older): 23% of the overall second preference limitation.
Third (FB3)): Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.
Fourth (FB4): Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.
First (EB1): Priority Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and
Second (EB2): 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 (EB3): 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".
Fourth (EB4): Certain Special Immigrants: 7.1% of the worldwide level.
Fifth (EB5): 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.