Visa Number Use by Category – USCIS vs DOS – FY2015

The Department of State (DOS) published data on the consumption of immigrant visa numbers by preference category. Each visa number represents a green card, or permanent residence, granted to an applicant. The data are also separated into two groups: The ones issued by DOS to applicants outside the United States, and ones issued by USCIS to adjust status of applicants already in the U.S.

It’s no surprise that the vast majority of family-sponsored green cards were issued to people residing outside the States, while most employment-based green cards were given to people already working in the U.S.

The data also show that family-sponsored and diversity visa (lottery) used far more visa numbers than employment-based categories.

visa number by category

Category Visa Issuances at Offices Abroad USCIS Adjustments
F1 (Family First) 22,346 2,363
F2A (Family Second1*) 80,197 5,078
F2B (Family Second** ) 22,726 2,215
F3 (Family Third) 23,455 2,368
F4 (Family Fourth) 60,116 4,807
E1 (Employment First) 1,891 40,099
E2 (Employment Second) 1,856 42,623
E3 (Employment Third) 7,340 30,110
E4 (Employment Fourth) 1,753 8,516
E5 (Employment Fifth) 8,773 991
DV (Diversity Visa) 48,097 1,280

* Family Second – Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents

** Family Second – Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents

Source: Department of State

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