How Often is the Visa Bulletin Updated?

The U.S. Department of State releases a Visa Bulletin every month that provides a summary on the availability of immigrant numbers for U.S. immigrant visas, also known as Green Cards.

The Immigration and Nationality Act sets no limits on Green Cards for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. However, all other categories of eligible Green Card applicants are subject to limits, and the visa bulletin provides current numerical information on them. This way, Green Card applicants can check the visa bulletin and know when an immigrant number will be made available for their specific category.

The family-based categories are the following:

  • Unmarried  adult Sons and Daughters of U.S. citizens
  • Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents and Unmarried adult Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents
  • Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. citizens
  • Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens

The employment-based categories are the following:

  • Priority workers
  • Workers with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability
  • Skilled workers, professionals and other workers
  • Workers in special fields
  • Entrepreneurs

The visa bulletin also has information on the diversity visa category.

What is the VISA Bulletin?

U.S. consular offices provide the Department of State with a report showing how many applicants are eligible for numerically limited visas while the USCIS provides a report of applicants of adjustment of status.

After the Department of State receives the report from the consular offices, which are located outside the U.S., and the USCIS, the Visa Bulletin is released.

The Visa Bulletin is a monthly summary, and it is usually made available halfway through the month prior. The May Bulletin should be available in the next couple of weeks.

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