What Is the Visas Bulletin?

Applying for a visa can be a long and complicated process, that is why it is helpful to know about all of the resources available to help you achieve your immigration goals. A common tool that many immigrants use to keep track of their visa applications is to check the visa bulletin.

Our Chicago immigration attorneys explain what a visa bulletin is and how it can help you get a visa.

Visa Bulletin

The visa bulletin shows which green card applications can move forward based on when the I-130 petition application was originally filed. It also lets you estimate how long it will take before you will be able to get your green card, based on how quickly the “line” is moving. Since there are many backlogs, you can check your visa progress every month as the Department of State makes updates.

Is the Visa Bulletin for All Visa Applications?

No, the visa bulletin will only provide updates for those who apply for employment-based or family-based visas. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State (DOS), are revising the procedures for determining visa availability for applicants waiting to file for employment-based or family-sponsored preference adjustment of status.

How to Read the Visa Bulletin

The caps on family-based green cards are broken down into four primary “preference categories.”

  • First Preference (F1): Unmarried adults (age 21 and over) who are children of U.S. citizens. The cap for this category is 23,400 green cards per year.
  • Second Preference (F2): Spouses and unmarried children of green card holders. The overall cap for this category is 114,200 green cards per year, but it’s split into two subcategories (F2A & F2B).
  • Third Preference (F3): Married children of U.S. citizens, regardless of age. The cap for this category is 23,400 green cards per year.
  • Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens. The cap for this category is 65,000 green cards per year.

If you need assistance applying for a visa, contact our Chicago immigration attorneys today at (312) 471-0014 to schedule a consultation!

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