Every month the United States Department of State (DOS) publishes something called the Visa Bulletin.
For U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents filing for a relative to get a “Green Card,” this is a vital resource for learning when the relative’s filing date becomes “Current.” A new change in the way the Visa Bulletin works will help some family members get here a little faster.
United States Citizens who apply for their brothers and sisters, or their adult or married sons and daughters, as well as Permanent Residents who apply for their spouses or unmarried kids, get assigned a “Priority Date.”
This is essentially the date the visa center says it got the application. So, if I am a Permanent Resident filing for my wife and the application was received this week it might get a Priority Date of August 15, 2015.
I can check the Visa Bulletin, which is published every month, to see which cases are being processed that month. For my immigration category, the cases that are being issued visas are those filed by April 15, 2014. That tells me that I will have to wait more than a year before my wife and I can file the necessary paperwork for the final issuance of a visa.
This month, the State Department is publishing a second Visa Chart that tells applicants who are adjusting their status in the U.S. when they can file the paperwork for adjustment. If I look at the chart, it tells me that anyone with a Priority Date of March 1, 2015 or earlier can file the final paperwork. It looks like my wife and I will be able to file the necessary paperwork in about six months.
This pre-filing will help speed up the final approval of the visa.
While this reform does not create any new rights, it does lessen the long waits for visas that immigrant families have to endure.
More information on this change can be found HERE.
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