State Department Visa Bulletin

Breaking News: Starting October 1, you will be able to submit your application for adjustment of status or for an immigrant visa before your priority date is current. We link to USCIS’s explanation of the new rules.

The Visa Bulletin is published on a monthly basis by the State Department. The Visa Bulletin shows would-be immigrants to the US the waiting times for each of the family-based and employment-based preference categories for green cards.  Since the demand for green card greatly exceeds the supply, the waiting times can be many years, even decades.  And because no country can get more than 7% of the total, persons born in countries where the demand is high (India, China, Philippines and Mexico) must often wait even longer to become permanent residents.

VISA BULLETIN – EMPLOYMENT

A. APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES– These dates are consistent with prior visa bulletin priority dates.

Categories Worldwide China (PRC) India Mexico Philippines
1st Current Current Current Current Current
2nd Current 1-12-12 5-01-05 Current Current
3rd 8-15-15 10-15-11 3-08-04 8-15-15 1-01-07
Unskilled 8-15-15 1-01-06 3-08-04 8-15-15 1-01-07
4th Current Current Current Current Current
Religious U U U U U
5th Targeted
Employment Areas/
Regional Centers
Current 10-08-13 Current Current Current
5th Pilot Programs Current U U U U

 

B. DATES FOR FILING OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISA APPLICATIONS– These dates indicate when immigrant applicants can send  adjustment of status applications without having to wait for their priority dates to become current.

Categories Worldwide China (PRC) India Mexico Philippines
1st Current Current Current Current Current
2nd Current 1-01-13 7-01-09 Current Current
3rd 9-01-15 10-01-13 7-01-05 9-01-15 1-01-10
Unskilled 9-01-15 1-01-07 7-01-05 9-01-15 1-01-10
4th Current Current Current Current Current
Religious Current Current Current Current Current
5th Targeted
Employment Areas/
Regional Centers & Pilot Programs
Current 5-01-15 Current Current Current

 

VISA BULLETIN – FAMILY

A. APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES– These dates are consistent with prior visa bulletin priority dates.

Categories Worldwide China (PRC) Mexico Philippines
1st 1-15-08 1-15-08 11-22-94 6-01-01
2A 4-15-14 4-15-14 3-01-14 4-15-14
2B 1-15-09 1-15-09 8-01-95 10-01-04
3rd 5-22-04 5-22-04 6-08-94 10-01-93
4th 2-08-03 2-08-03 3-22-97 5-01-92

B. DATES FOR FILING FAMILY-SPONSORED VISA APPLICATIONS– These dates indicate when immigrant applicants can send adjustment of status applications without having to wait for their priority dates to become current.

Categories Worldwide China (PRC) Mexico Philippines
1st 5-01-09 5-01-09 4-01-95 9-01-05
2A 3-01-15 3-01-15 3-01-15 3-01-15
2B 7-01-10 7-01-10 1-01-96 1-01-05
3rd 4-01-05 4-01-05 5-01-95 8-01-95
4th 2-01-04 2-01-04 5-01-98 1-01-93

The following videos by former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) Carl Shusterman are guides to the workings of Visa Bulletin, one for the Employment-Based Preference Categories and the other for the Family-Based Preference Categories. Persons can change from one category to another without losing their priority dates. The Visa Bulletin is not an accurate predictor of how long it will take you to obtain a green card.

Understanding the Visa Bulletin:
Employment-Based Categories

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Understanding the Visa Bulletin:
Family-Based Categories

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