FAQ Visa Bulletin
Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Visa Bulletin.
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The Visa Bulletin is a monthly publication, regarding immigration to the United States that is published by the United States Department of State. It indicates which Green Card applications can move forward, based on when the I-130 petition was filed. Additionally, it can help you to estimate the timeline of being able to get your own Green Card, based on how quickly the “line” is moving now. After filing your I-130 petition, you’ll be able to monitor the Visa Bulletin and check the ongoing progress of the line.
The Visa Bulletin is based on the type of relationship that you have with the petitioner. The limits on family-based Green Cards are broken down into four primary “preference categories”:
F1 (first preference) – unmarried adults, age 21 and over, who are children of U.S. citizens. The limit for this category is 23,400 Green Cards per year.
F2 (second preference) – this category is for the spouses and unmarried children of Green Card holders. The overall limit for this category is 114,200, plus any unused F1 numbers. It is further split into two subcategories:
- F2A – this category is reserved for spouses and unmarried minor children, under age 21, of Green Card holders. If you are a Green Card holder who has applied for a Green Card for your spouse, this is the category you’ll need to watch when you check the Visa Bulletin. 77% of the F2 Visas go towards this F2A sub-category (A total of 87,934 Green Cards per year).
- F2B – this category is for unmarried adult children, age 21 and over, of Green Card holders. 23% of the F2 Visas go towards this F2B sub-category (A total of 26,266 Green Cards per year).
F3 (third preference) – this category is for married children of U.S. citizens, regardless of age. The limit for this category is 23,400 Green Cards per year.
F4 (fourth preference) – this category is for the siblings of U.S. citizens. The limit for this category is 65,000 Green Cards per year.
The wait times for F2A Green Cards are much shorter than for the other family-based categories, for two primary reasons. First of all, it has the largest quota, at 87,934 Green Cards. In addition, 75% of the Green Cards within the F2A category are exempt from the country cap described above. So, the country of origin for a spouse seeking a F2A Green Card is much less important than for a Green Card applicant in another category
The Visa Bulletin is issued every month by the U.S Department of State and it provides a summary of the availability of immigrant numbers for U.S. immigrant Visas, also known as Green Cards.
The “Final Action Dates” are the dates when the actual Green Card numbers are available for foreign nationals, and third country of birth, so that the final Green Cards or immigrant Visas can be issued.