Green Card Priority Date - Family Based Visa Availability
The Department of State publishes a monthly Visa Bulletin that tells applicants when their Priority Date is current. Applicants must wait for their Priority Date to become current before they can apply for a Green Card.
Visa Cut-Off Dates for April 2011
|Family-sponsored||All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed||CHINA-mainland born||INDIA||MEXICO||PHILIPPINES|
How to Read the Visa Bulletin
First, identify your Preference Category from following list:
First: Unmarried Sons and Daughters (over 21) of U.S. Citizens
Second: Spouses and Children,and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents
A. Spouses and Children
B. Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older)
Third: Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens
Fourth: Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens
Next, identify your country of nationality (If you are claiming chargeability from a country other than China, India, Mexico or Philippines, then you should refer to the first column, labeled "All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed.") The cell that represents your Preference Category and Country of Nationality will contain either a date or a letter.
If a cell is marked "C" that means that the Priority Date is current in that Category and visa numbers are available. If a cell is marked "U" it means that no visas are available for the rest of the fiscal year (which ends on September 30). If a date appears in the cell, then that date signifies the visa "cut-off" date. Applicants must have a Priority Date that falls before the date listed in the cell in order to qualify to apply for a Green Card.
Please note that if you are applying as the spouse or unmarried childof a U.S. citizen, or if you are applying as the parent of a U.S.citizen who is over the age of 18, then a visa number is immediately available to you and you are not required to wait for a Priority Date to become current.