Is it enough that you know the priority dates as the Visa Bulletin is published every month to ensure you will be ready for your visa interview date?

What difference does a five-year interval make in terms of visa processing movement?

In the case of the over-21 unmarried son or daughter of a US citizen (F1 category) the visa priority dates moved 3 years per year.  In fact this category moved more than nine (9) years between 2008 and 2013.

Which tells you monitoring when your visa interview would be scheduled is not just a matter of checking your category’s priority date month after month after month.

In July 2007 for example, all the Employment-based categories including the EB3 (immigrant visa category for professionals and skilled workers) were current. The next month, all EB categories were unavailable!

There are more visa applicants than there are visas available. That’s why applicants from the Philippines, Mexico, China, India, and the Dominican Republic have to wait for years – unless they are immediate relatives of US citizens (spouse, minor children and parents of US citizens), not covered by quota and could immediately apply for their visa after the petition approval.  Remember, the visa application approval includes all the steps taken at the National Visa Center, not just the consular interview. 

Preparation is the key. Your priority date is automatically queued to move 3 to six months before it becomes current. The State Department is required by law to inform applicants that they are eligible for immigrant visa issuance. The National Visa Center in fact sends a letter to the applicant with an interview date - but only if the visa applicant has submitted all requirements and considered “documentarily qualified.”

Therefore, procrastinating  or not providing documents to establish your eligibility - ensuring that the documents are not only current but also valid and without any need for correction – will set you back another year or years if your priority date becomes current when you are not yet documentarily qualified.

Watching and waiting are not enough. You must act based on what the law allows you. This is a case of what you do not know can hurt you.

June Visa Bulletin 2003-2013

  2003 2008 2013 2014
F1 1-Jun-90 15-Mar-93 1-Jan-00 1-Jun-02
F2A 15-Apr-98 15-Jul-03 8-Jun-11 1-May-12
F2B 22-Oct-94 22-Feb-97 1-Nov-02 15-Jul-03
F3 15-Jan-90 1-Apr-91 15-Nov-92 8-Mar-93
F4 15-Jan-82 8-Mar-86 8-Nov-89 15-Nov-90
EB3 C 1-Mar-06 22-Sep-06 1-Jan-08
EB4 C 1-Jan-03 22-Sep-06 1-Jan-08


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