The Visa Bulletin of the US State Department shows backlogs in getting green cards in both the family and the employment-based categories. The time that it will take you to get a green card depends on the category of your petition and your country of birth. The Visa Bulletin is updated on a monthly basis.

You can stay up-to-date with the waiting times in the Visa Bulletin by subscribing to our Free E-Mail Newsletter.

As is common late in the government’s fiscal year, there are significant retrogressions in the employment-based categories. EB-1 Worldwide will retrogress to July 1, 2016 while EB-1 India will remain at January 1, 2015. EB-2 Worldwide will retrogress to January 1, 2017 while EB-2 India will inch forward to May 2, 2009. EB-3 Worldwide will retrogress to July 1, 2016. Worst of all, EB-3 India will take a steep u-turn to January 1, 2006.


3 very important things to keep in mind about this month’s Visa Bulletin:
  1. We need to do away with per-country quotas, and increase the number of EB green cards. The BELIEVE Act which was introduced in the Senate last week would do this. Write to your Senators today and urge them to support the BELIEVE Act!
  2. USCIS has determined that that adjustment of status applicants in the F2A category may file using the Final Action Dates chart in the August 2019 Visa Bulletin. The Dates for Filing chart must be used for all other family-based preference filings, and the Final Action Dates chart must be used for employment-based preference filings.
  3. The August (and September) Visa Bulletins are always bad news. The numbers in the October Visa Bulletin will be much better!
How rapidly will your priority date in the Visa Bulletin advance or retrogress in the coming months? Click on the link to the Visa Bulletin Predictions by the State Department’s Charlie Oppenheim.

Most immigrant visas to the US are numerically limited both by preference category and by country of chargeability (which is, in most cases, one’s country of birth). Most immigrants are sponsored either by family members or through employmentor investment in the United States.


EMPLOYMENT-BASED CATEGORIES

An applicant’s priority date is the day that the government received the employer’s PERM application. However, if a PERM application is not required, the priority date is the date the government received an EB visa petition (I-140 or the I-526). Watch our EB videos to see various methods of shortening your waiting time for a green card.


VISA BULLETIN – EMPLOYMENT


A. FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES
1st 7-01-16 7-01-16 7-01-16 01-01-15 7-01-16 7-01-16 7-01-16
2nd 1-01-17 1-01-17 1-01-17 5-02-09 1-01-17 1-01-17 1-01-17
3rd 7-01-16 7-01-16 7-01-16 1-01-06 7-01-16 7-01-16 7-01-16
Unskilled 7-01-16 11-22-07 7-01-16 1-01-06 7-01-16 7-01-16 7-01-16
4th Current Current 7-01-16 Current 7-01-16 Current Current
5th Current 10-15-14 Current 10-15-14 Current Current 10-15-14


B. DATES FOR FILING OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISA APPLICATIONS
1st 9-01-18 10-01-17 9-01-18 10-01-17 9-01-18 9-01-18
2nd Current 2-01-17 Current 6-01-09 Current Current
3rd Current 6-01-16 Current 4-01-10 Current Current
Unskilled Current 6-01-08 Current 4-01-10 Current Current
4th Current Current 9-01-16 Current Current Current
5th Current 11-15-14 Current Current Current Current

VISA BULLETIN – FAMILY



The family-based categories in the visa bulletin are as follows:An applicant’s priority date is the day that the government received the I-130 Petition. For more on family-based visas and how you may be able to shorten your waiting time, see our video above.

A priority date is established by the submission of a relative visa petition in the family categories.

The word “Current”in the Visa Bulletin indicates that no backlog presently exists in a particular category. Alternately, the word “Unavailable” indicates that it is not possible to apply for permanent residence in that category.


A. FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED CASES – These dates are consistent with prior visa bulletin priority dates.
1st 7-01-12 7-01-12 7-01-12 8-01-96 2-22-08
2A Current Current Current Current Current
2B 1-01-14 1-01-14 1-01-14 6-01-98 4-01-08
3rd 6-22-07 6-22-07 6-22-07 12-01-95 10-01-97
4th 10-01-06 10-01-06 9-15-04 1-01-97 5-01-98


B. FAMILY-SPONSORED FILING DATE CHART – The chart below reflects dates for filing visa applications within a time frame justifying immediate action in the application process. Applicants for immigrant visas who have a priority date earlier than the application date in the chart may assemble and submit required documents to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, following receipt of notification from the National Visa Center containing detailed instructions. The application date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who cannot submit documentation to the National Visa Center for an immigrant visa.
1st 3-01-13 3-01-13 3-01-13 11-01-99 8-22-08
2A 6-01-19 6-01-19 6-01-19 6-01-19 6-01-19
2B 9-01-14 9-01-14 9-01-14 2-01-99 11-01-08
3rd 12-22-07 12-22-07 12-22-07 7-15-00 4-01-98
4th 12-15-06 12-15-06 5-15-05 12-15-98 11-01-98