What is the Visa Bulletin?

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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides foreign nationals with different legal pathways for immigration to the United States to keep their families together. Immediate relatives have an unlimited number of immigrant visas available each fiscal year. This includes spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21 of U.S. citizens. However, other family-based immigrant visas are faced with a wait. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of State publishes a monthly visa bulletin informing you when you can claim your green card. Please continue reading to learn how to read the visa bulletin to find your priority date and how an adept Middlesex County, New Jersey, Green Card Lawyer can help you today. 

How Does the Visa Bulletin Work?

Firstly, it’s crucial to understand that the family-based immigration process begins with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of a foreign family member who wishes to immigrate to the U.S. Only a certain number of green cards are made available eacSpecificyear. Certain rules exist about the number of visas issued in each country and the preference category. The number of immigrants intending to pursue the family-based immigration process usually exceeds the available immigrant visas; there’s usually a wait for family preference categories.

If you’re applying for immigration through a family preference category, it’s imperative to understand that an approved I-130 petition does not permit you to enter the U.S. The approved petition means that USCIS has confirmed that you 1) have a qualifying relationship and have established your place in line for a visa. The visa bulletin tells you when they are available according to your priority date. It’s important to note that your priority date is when USCIS received your I-130 petition. Essentially, this date represents your place in the green card line. You can find your priority date form mailed by USCIS approving your I-130 petition.

The visa bulletin is issued monthly by the Department of State. It provides information on visa availability and cut-off dates that determine which immigrant visa applicants are eligible to complete the final stages of the green card application process based on when the I-130 petition was initially filed. The bulletin also lets you estimate how long it will take before your green card application can be approved. It allows applicants for employment and family-based petitions to determine when they can take their next steps in the green card process. The visa bulletin will also warn of retrogression, giving applicants time to prepare. Visa retrogression is when the demand for visas in a particular immigrant category exceeds the available supply for a fiscal year. Retrogression can add wait time for green card approvals.

If you’re applying for a green card, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted lawyer from the Law Offices of Aditya Surti, LLC, who can help you navigate the legal process ahead.




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