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 March 2019

APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES (Dates when visas may finally be issued)

Family-Sponsored
All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed
CHINA-mainland born
INDIA
MEXICO
PHILIPPINES
F1
22OCT11
22OCT11
22OCT11
01AUG97
01APR07
F2A
08JAN17
08JAN17
08JAN17
15DEC16
08JAN17
F2B
01AUG12
01AUG12
01AUG12
22SEP97
22JUL07
F3
08SEP06
08SEP06
08SEP06
15JAN96
01JAN96
F4
22SEP05
22SEP05
08JUL04
08FEB98
01JAN96

*NOTE: For March, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants from all countries with priority dates  earlier than 15DEC16. F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 15DEC16 and earlier than 08JAN17. All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit.

DATES FOR FILING APPLICATIONS (Earliest dates when applicants may be able to apply)

Family-Sponsored
All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed
CHINA-mainland born
INDIA
MEXICO
PHILIPPINES
F1
22APR12
22APR12
22APR12
22SEP99
01APR08
F2A
08DEC17
08DEC17
08DEC17
08DEC17
08DEC17
F2B
22JUN14
22JUN14
22JUN14
08FEB98
22JAN08
F3
01MAR07
01MAR07
01MAR07
08JUN00
01SEP97
F4
22JUN06
22JUN06
08FEB05
08NOV98
08JAN98

How to Read the Visa Bulletin

First, identify your Preference Category from following list:

  • First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.
  • Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:
    • (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;
    • (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents: 23% of the overall second preference limitation.
  • Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.
  • Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

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 November 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.