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.
|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