Visa Bulletin Information
Immigration information is ever-changing, particularly with regard to the dates in which certain forms must be submitted and accepted. Specific to visa availability in the United States, there are certain cut-off dates that govern the availability of visa for those seeking to enter and stay in the U.S. This information is generally published in the visa bulletin.
The visa bulletin is released monthly, and you can generally access archived bulletins as well. It contains three categories under which an immigrant may enter the U.S.: family-based, employment-based and other.
Visa Bulletin - Family Based
In terms of family-based visa, first preference is given to sons and daughters not yet married over the age of 21; there are 23,400 of these visas allotted each fiscal year. Second preference is given to children, spouses and unmarried adult children or permanent resident aliens; there are 114,200 of these visas available each fiscal year as well as any not utilized in the first preference category. However, it should be noted that at least 77% of the second preference visas issued must go to spouses and children. Third preference on the visa bulletin is for married adult children of U.S. citizens, as well as leftover visas from the first two categories, and fourth preference is to siblings of citizens and any visas not used from the first three categories.
Click here to check the visa bulletin for visa cut-off dates for the family based visa category.
Visa Bulletin - Employment Based
There are five employment-based categories for visas. The first is EB-1, which are aliens with extraordinary abilities, particularly those in the educational realm. The second category is for advanced degree professionals, while the third category is for skilled workers and professionals and there are 40,000 visas available for this purpose. The fourth category on the visa bulletin is for special immigrants, including religious workers, and the fifth category is for alien investors or entrepreneurs, of which there are roughly 3,000 visas available.
Click here to check the visa bulletin for visa cut-off dates for the employment based visa category.
When the visa bulletin is issued each month, it is per country and gives an accounting for each specific preference. It is generally issued between the 8th and the 15th monthly and visa availability tends to be more clogged up as you near the end of the fiscal year in the U.S., which is September 30.
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