Chargeability and Cross Chargeability
Visa Chargeability refers to which country you belong, when applying for a Green Card. Generally, your visa number is charged to the country in which you were born. Immediate relative category does not have any limit on the number of Green Cards that are issued each year, for spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of U.S. citizens. However, there are only a limited number of visas each year for most other visa categories, and there are country limits imposed on China, India, Mexico and the Philippines. When applying for these types of visas, it is important to determine to which country your visa number will be charged, as it could change how long you will have to wait to apply for a Green Card. Cross chargeability, an exception to the general visa chargeability rule, allows the visa number for a principal applicant to be charged to the country of birth of the accompanying spouse. This might happen when a visa will be available sooner to an applicant from the spouse’s country of birth than from the principal applicant’s country of birth. Further, children may be charged to the country of either parent when accompanying or following to join their parents.
Immigration and Nationality Act [INA 202 (b)(2)]: Rules for Chargeability: if an alien is chargeable to a different foreign state from that of his spouse, the foreign state to which such alien is chargeable may, if necessary to prevent the separation of husband and wife, be determined by the foreign state of the spouse he is accompanying or following to join, if such spouse has received or would be qualified for an immigrant visa and if immigration charged to the foreign state to which such spouse has been or would be chargeable has not reached a numerical level established for that fiscal year.