U.S. Immigration: What Is The Visa Bulletin?

When applying for a Visa to stay in the United States, you may have encountered the term “Visa Bulletin.” As it turns out, it’s an essential part of the Visa application for several reasons. It’s best to inform yourself of what it is and why it’s important. Learn about its role in the Green Card application process and how an immigration attorney helps you utilize it.

Get More Information About The Visa Bulletin With Immigration Attorneys To Guide You On The Road Legally And Safely

What Is The Visa Bulletin?

The Visa Bulletin is a monthly publication issued by the United States Department of State (DOS) that lists the availability of immigrant Visas for foreign nationals seeking to immigrate to the United States. It is an essential resource for individuals and families waiting for their turn to apply for a Green Card, also known as permanent residency.

Categories Of The Visas

The Visa Bulletin is divided into two categories: family-sponsored Visas and employment-based Visas. The family-sponsored are for individuals sponsored by a family member who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, while employment-based are for individuals who have been offered a job in the United States.

Quotas On The Number Of Visas

The Visa Bulletin is based on a system of quotas limiting the number of Visas issued each year. These quotas are established by Congress and are based on the number of Visas that have been used in the past and the current demand for them.

How Often Is The Bulletin Updated?

One of the key features of the Visa Bulletin is the “cut-off date,” which is the date that marks the end of the current month’s Visa availability. If an individual’s priority date is earlier than the cut-off date, they can apply for a Green Card. If their priority date is later than the cut-off date, they will have to wait until the next month’s Visa Bulletin is released to see if their priority date becomes current. 

The closer an individual’s priority date is to the current date, the faster they can apply for a Green Card. The Visa Bulletin is updated every month and lists the dates when Visas become available.

The Visa Bulletin also includes a “final action date” for each Visa category. It represents the last date when Visas were issued in that category. If an individual’s priority date is near the final action date, they will likely receive one soon.

What Are Diversity Visas?

In addition to the family-sponsored and employment-based categories, the Visa Bulletin also includes a class for Diversity Visas. It is reserved for individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The Diversity Visa is a lottery program that allows individuals from eligible countries to apply for a permanent residence card.

How An Immigration Attorney Can Help

It can be challenging to navigate the Visa Bulletin. There may be information that you need to familiarize yourself with. If this is the case, then it’s best to enlist the help of an immigration lawyer. Lincoln-Goldfinch Law helps clients with concerns about staying legally in the United States and having their Visas approved. You can work with the firm’s team of immigration lawyers and staff for a less stressful application.


The Visa Bulletin is an important resource for individuals and families seeking to immigrate to the United States. It provides information on the availability of Visas and helps individuals understand the process for applying for a Green Card. By keeping track and understanding the priority and cut-off dates, individuals can better plan their immigration journey and take the necessary steps to apply for a Green Card. For assistance on how to make use of the Visa Bulletin, consult with an immigration lawyer.

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