The Visa Bulletin is part of the website of the Department of State. It is published on day 9 or 10 of each month. The bulletin contains news about the progress for all categories (classes) of Permanent Visas (Green Cards).

Section A – STATUTORY NUMBERS

This section has information about waiting times for Family Based and Employment Based Immigration.

Family-Sponsored Preferences

Two charts are given with dates for the five family based preferences F1, F2A, F2B, F3, F4, in five geographic locations: all Areas (Countries), mainland China, India, Mexico, Philippines.

1. Final Action Dates

These are the dates on which the Immigration Petitions that being processed, were received by USCIS. This date is called the Priority Date. The FAD chart indicates waiting times per preferences per area (country).

2. Dates for Filing

If your Priority Date is earlier than the date given on the chart, you can submit your application for the visa. You must have an approved petition.
Make sure to check the correct preference and the correct area.

Employment-Based Preferences

Two charts are given with dates for the preferences EB-1 to EB-5 in six geographic locations: all Areas (Countries), mainland China, El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras, India, Mexico, Philippines.

1. Final Action Dates

These are the dates on which the Foreign Worker Petitions that are being processed, were received by USCIS. This date is called the Priority Date.
The FAD chart indicates waiting times per preferences per area (country).

2. Dates for Filing

If the Priority Date is earlier than the date given on the chart, the application for the visa can be submitted. The petition must have been approved.
Make sure to check the correct preference and the correct area.

Sections B and C – DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT CATEGORIES

These sections have information for Diversity Lottery Winners.
The charts shows Regions and All DV Areas Except Those Listed.
Next to each Region the Allocated Cut-Off Number is given.
In some regions separate – lower – numbers are listed for some countries.

B – CUT OFFS FOR THE MONTH OF (name of current month)

Visas ARE available for DV Winners with a Case Number below the Cut-Off Number for their region/country.

C – CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN (name of upcoming month)

Visas WILL BE available for DV Winners with Case Number below the Cut-Off Number that applies to their region/country.

Usually the numbers for Section C are higher than for B.
If the Cut-Off Numbers for a region or country stays the same for two consecutive months it is usually not good news for Winners (Selected Entrants) with a Case Number that is the same or above the Cut-Off Number. It usually means that all available visas have been issued already. For that region or country the DV-program is then over and the remaining winners will not get a Green Card.

If the term CURRENT shows for a region or country instead of a Cut-Off Number that is good news. It means the State Department expects enough visas will be available for all eligible applicants in that region/country.

Visa Numbers become officially available on the first day of the month the bulletin is issued for.

Sections D, E, F, G

These are mainly of interest to immigration lawyers and organizations that work on behalf of immigrants.

Section H

Gives instruction how to subscribe to the DOS mailing list for the Visa Bulletin.

To access the recent Visa Bulletin

travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin.html

To access previous Visa Bulletins

travel.state.gov – enter Visa Bulletin (add month, year) in the search box.

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