What is the Visa Bulletin?

What is the Visa Bulletin?

The visa bulletin is a notice board where dates and times are mentioned when one can apply for a green card with the USCIS and hire, if necessary, an Immigration lawyer. Foreign nationals, or people who aren’t citizens of the United States, tend to use the Visa Bulletin as a guide to know when can they file Form I-485, the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjustment Status. These charts show the demand for a green card in different categories (like EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, etc.) along with the conforming country’s limitations.

Generally, to make this process slightly easier for oneself, one can hire an Immigration Lawyer from NYC to essentially “smooth out the edges” of your application or, in more professional terms, help you out so that there aren’t any mistakes in your application or any forms and documents missing. To better understand this issue, here are a set of answered FAQs to help speed things along for you.

Answered FAQs about the Visa Bulletin:

What is Visa Bulletin?

The Visa Bulletin is like a list where Foreign Nationals on temporary Visas can apply for a green card. It consists of 4 charts, 2 for Work-related immigration and 2 family-sponsored green cards. People use these charts to determine when to file their forms I-485 and all related documents and applications.

Which organization shares the Visa Bulletin and How often?

The United States State Department is the one that shares the Visa Bulletin with the world on its website. Then the United States Citizenship and Immigration (that is, USCIS) shares an analysis of the Bulletin on their website for the applicants and Immigration Lawyers to understand which chart to refer to determine their filing date. 

The State Department then provides two separate charts for work-related and family-sponsored green cards: Final action dates and dates for filing. The final action dates determine the important dates to be at the front of the green card waiting line. The filing date is for those applicants whose filing dates are set before the date mentioned in the Visa Bulletin. The USCIS then can provide supplemental benefits for adjustment of status application holders by way of pre-emptive filing.

When is the Visa Bulletin updated?

The Visa Bulletin is generally updated in the middle of the month before the filing dates. So, if the filing dates are set for the month of September, the Visa Bulletin would be updated in the middle of August.

What are Priority Dates?

Priority dates are the applicant’s spot in line for the green card they’re trying to attain. Priority dates for employment-based applicants are usually tied in with when they or their Immigration Lawyer filed the PERM labor certification with the Department of Labour.

What are common terms used in Visa Bulletin?

“Current” is one of the most commonly used terms in any Visa Bulletin. It is generally denoted with a “C”, which implies that the following category is current and there is no waiting period, and all immigrant applicants or their Immigration Lawyers with any priority date can apply for the adjustment of status.

Another common term within the Visa Bulletin is the “Date for Filing” or the “Cut-off Date.” This term is the set last day for filing the I-485 by either the applicant or their Immigration Lawyer. It also determines the fact if they’re eligible at all to file their application by then. Suppose the Foreign National’s priority date happens to be before the Cut-off Date mentioned in the current Visa Bulletin. In that case, they’re eligible to submit their I-485 for final scrutiny by the USCIS.

Traversing through the Visa Bulletin:

To wrap this up, I’ll share a simple method to help you navigate this labyrinth called Visa Bulletin. The steps are given below:

Find the correct chart for your category:

In July of 2019, USCIS notified that the applicants are to use the final application dates to determine the availability.

Locate the Visa preference type in the first column:

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Rows are for EB-1, EB-2, EB-3 green-card categories accordingly.

Within that row, find your Country of birth and the respective priority date:

If the date section beneath your country is marked “C” for current or the date given is later than the applicants priority date, they can file in the form I-485.

I sincerely hope that this article was helpful and aided you in your time of need.

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