How to Read the Visa Bulletin

If you or your spouse is a green card holder and you’re planning on applying for a marriage-based green card, you’ve probably heard about the visa bulletin.

The visa bulletin is issued every month by the Department of State. It shows which green card applications can move forward, based on when the I-130 petition that starts the green card process was originally filed. It also lets you estimate how long it will take before you will be able to get your green card, based on how quickly the “line” is moving now. Once your I-130 petition has been filed, you’ll be able to check the visa bulletin and watch your place in line move forward.

Boundless Co-Founder and immigration policy expert, Doug Rand, publishes a monthly analysis of the most recent Visa Bulletin here.

Everything you need to know about this important monthly update is explained at this link:

Some key points are:

If you’re the spouse, parent, or unmarried child (under age 21) of a U.S. citizen, you don’t even need to read the visa bulletin—there’s no green card backlog or wait time for you!

  • If you’re the spouse or unmarried child (under age 21) of a U.S. green card holder, you’ll have to wait extra 12-18 months for your green card to become available.

  • If you’re in a different category, your green card wait time may vary — from years to decades.

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