Permanent immigration to the United States rose 5.2% in the US Fiscal Year 2008 (1 October 2007 through 30 September 2008), with 1 107 000 people receiving lawful permanent residency status. The previous year had seen a sharp drop due to fewer humanitarian
migrants and less family reunification, as well as the end of additional entries for employment under a "visa recapture" scheme whereby unused visas from previous years' caps were granted. Admissions under the employment‐based preferences category,
on the other hand, were largely steady at 167 000 (2008). More than half of the employment‐based visas went to family members of the principal applicant. In the three main employment‐based visa categories, 96% were issued to principal
applicants already in the United States.