This is the US Department of State's Visa Bulletin edited and annotated to make it easier to read, less technical, and (we hope) more useful to you.
Immigrant Visa Dates, Bureau of Consular Affairs
2. The fiscal year limit for family-sponsored preference immigrants for a country is 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,262 for the Fiscal Year. The yearly limit for a dependent area (e.g. Bermuda) is set at 2%, or 7,320.
2nd: Spouses and Children(who are under 21 and unmarried) are in 2A, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters (who are over 21) of US Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) are in Preference 2B.
2A: The 2A preference is for Spouses and Children of US LPR's.
2B: The 2 B Preference is for Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of LPR's.
3rd: Married Sons and Daughters of US Citizens.(about 23,000 per year)
4th: Brothers and Sisters of Adult US Citizens.(about 65,000 per year)
4. Family-sponsored and employment based preference visas are issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which petitions are filed. Spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal. (This means that family members can be given immigrant visas also if they travel with or follow to join the person with the approved petition without filing individual petitions themselves. This rule does NOT apply to Immediate Relatives of U.S. citizens each of whom needs an individual petition.
5. On the charts below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that there is a wait for visas; "C" means current, i.e., visas are available for all qualified applicants; and "U" means Unavailable, i.e., no visas are available at this time. (NOTE: Visas are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed here.)
COMMENT ON FAMILY SPONSORED PRIORITY DATE ROLLBACK: Family based Priority Dates can retrogress (move back to older dates). This happens when there is a large demand for immigrant visas by Beneficiaries of older cases (cases with earlier Priority Dates). Until these older cases are taken care of, the dates in the affected Priority do not move ahead and might move further back. When the older cases receive visas or stop applying for visas, and if there are immigrant visas available, the dates will move ahead again. Since the demand by older cases cannot be predicted, the future movement of available Priority dates cannot be accurately estimated.
An immigrant visa cannot be issued and an Adjustment of Status cannot be completed until the Visa Bulletin shows the Applicant's Priority Date is "Current" or has been passed. If an Adjustment was submitted when the date was available but before the AOS processing was completed the date moved back, the AOS Applicant must wait but will be allowed to remain in the US and can receive Work Authorization until a visa becomes available.
|ALL AREAS EXCEPT|
|F1||01 AUG 07||01 AUG 07||01 AUG 07||01 NOV 94||01 FEB 05|
|F2A||01 AUG 13||01 AUG 13||01 AUG 13||01 JUL 13||01 AUG 13|
|F2B||22 AUG 08||22 AUG 08||22 AUG 08||01 FEB 95||01 APR 04|
|F3||08 FEB 04||08 FEB 04||08 FEB 04||01 APR 94||08 AUG 93|
|F4||15 JUN 02||15 JUN 02||15 JUN 02||08 JUL 97||22 SEP 91|
1st: Priority Workers.
2nd: Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability.
3rd: Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers (Other Workers include those in sponsored jobs which require less than two years of training or experience.)
4th: "Special Immigrants"
5th: Employment Creation (Investors)
|ALL AREAS EXCEPT |
|2nd||C||01 APR 11||01 SEP 07||C||C|
|3rd||01 OCT 14||01 JAN 11||08 JAN 04||01 OCT 14||01 OCT 14|
|Other Workers||01 OCT 14||15 AUG 05||08 JAN 04||01 OCT 14||01 OCT 14|
|5th Target Employment||C||C||C||C||C|
Editors Note (not part of the original Visa Bulletin): As cases with earlier Priority Dates use up available visas, the Prority Date may move back or become "U" Unavailable.
An increase in applications for visas from older cases can cause the date to move back or become Unavailable. A reduced demand by older causes the Priority Date to move forward or become "C" Current. If the demand stays high and all available visas are used up, a Priority Date may become "U" Unavailable until the next fiscal year begins (October). In the new Fiscal Year some of the Unavailable entries may move forward to last date used in the previous fiscal year (the date used before it became Unavailable.)
Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides 50,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year for persons from countries other than the principal sources of current immigration to the United States. DV visas are divided among six geographic regions. Not more than 3,850 visas (7% of the 50,000 visa limit) may be provided to immigrants from any one country.
In APRIL 2015, DV 2015 visas will be available to qualified applicants with cut-off dates BELOW the numbers shown below.
AFRICA 30,700 Except EGYPT 18,200 and ETHIOPIA 22,500. ASIA 4,725. EUROPE 28,450. NORTH AMERICA (Bahamas) 6. OCEANIA 975. SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN: 1,025.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR DV CASES: Entitlement to immigrant status in the DV category lasts only through the end of the fiscal year for which the applicant is selected in the lottery. The year of entitlement for all applicants registered for Fiscal Year DV 2015 will end on 30 September 2015. A DV 2015 lottery registration will give no benefit after 30 September.
(Editor's Note, not part of the official Visa Bulletin.) ADVANCE DV AVAILABILITY: if an advance cut-off date published in the VISA BULLETIN is below the rank number of a selected DV applicant, the applicant can file a DV visa application with a consul or can submit an Adjustment of Status application (if in the US and if qualified to adjust) before the date on which the rank number will be reached if the date is shown in advance in the Visa Bulletin. Recent Bulletins have been publishing dates one month in advance.
As an example, if a selected DV applicant has a DV rank number of Europe 14,499 and the January Visa Bulletin shows that the rank Cut-Off number for Europe will be 14,500 in March, then the applicant can apply on or after 01 February. This allows more time for processing the DV application.
Caution: Since it can take several months to process an application for a DV visa, if a qualified applicant has not submitted the application papers several months before September 30, there is a possiblity that processing will not be completed by the last day of the Fiscal Year and the DV case will expire. The time needed for processing depends on where the visa application is submitted.
The following DV Advance Dates as published in the official Visa Bulletin.
ADVANCE NOTICE OF DV VISA AVAILABILITY
In MAY 2015, DV 2015 Visas will be available to qualified applicants with cut-off dates BELOW the numbers shown below.
AFRICA 32,700 Except EGYPT 20,900 and ETHIOPIA 25,750. ASIA 5,275. EUROPE 30,300. NORTH AMERICA (Bahamas) 6. OCEANIA 1.075. SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN: 1,025.
[Editor's Note, not part of the official Visa Bulletin: All DV 2014 selections expired on 30 September 2014 and cannot be used to obtain a DV visa after that date.]
Do you have a general question about preferences or dates? Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Department of State has available a recorded message with visa availability information which can be heard at: area code (202) 485-7699. This recording is changed in the middle of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.
OBTAINING THE MONTHLY VISA BULLETIN: The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs offers the monthly "Visa Bulletin" on the INTERNET. The INTERNET address of the Bulletin is http://travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_1360.html [Editor's note: For your convenience, we've put a JUMP to the official Visa Bulletin below]
To be placed on the Department of State's E-mail subscription list, send your e-mail address to: email@example.com. In the body of the message type: "Subscribe Visa-Bulletin First Name/Last Name
Example: Subscribe Visa-Bulletin Robert Smith
The above dates and numbers are from the Department of State Publication 9514 CA/VO released 11 MARCH 2015
The original unedited Visa Bulletin and archive of past Bulletins is available at Official Visa Bulletin Use your browser "Back" button to return here.
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© Richard Madison 2015. No copyright is claimed for information published by the US government.
Last edit 12 MARCH 2015