Immigrant Visa

Each Fiscal Year (period from Oct. 1st through September 30th of the following year), specific numbers of immigrant visas are set aside for allotting to the applicants.  This is normally referred to as the annual quota or numerical limitation for a green card.

Immigrant Visas are green cards issued to permanent resident applicants.

Immigrant visa categories are many, and each immigrant visa category is subject to a different numerical limit.  Some visa categories are not subject to any numerical limitation.

Immigrant visa numerical limitations are subject to countrywide limits.  These visas are issued based on employment as well as family sponsorship.  Business Investors could also qualify for Immigrant Visa.

To maintain diversity, the United States issues green cards to nationals of named countries by conducting a diversity lottery.

Asylum and refugee protection are the humanitarian benefits offered to people who fear life-threatening persecution and provide a path to permanent residence.


Visa Bulletin


Under the relevant rules, the Foreign National is permitted to visit the U.S.

Visa Bulletin shows the total number of immigrant visas annually available for each immigrant visa category.  The charts show the priority date of the processed permanent residence applications, also called the cut-off date.

There are two charts for each class, i.e., family-based immigration and employment-based immigration.

The date of filing chart indicates which applicants can file visa applications for further processing on time.

The Final Action dates chart shows "C," which means visa numbers are still available (or authorized), and all applicants will be accepted;

"U" means the visa issuance is not authorized, and this is because the available quota for the year is exhausted.

If a date is entered instead on the charts, it means that there are too many applicants in that category, and applications filed before the date shown are being processed for immigrant visa issuance.

Visa Bulletin is published monthly by the Department of State.  It summarizes the availability of immigrant visa numbers remaining that could be allotted to immigrating foreign nationals and indicates when an application for an immigrant visa can be filed.  Immigrant Visa allocations are made chronologically in the order in which applications are made, i.e., the application filing is the priority date.

When an immigrant category becomes oversubscribed, the priority date of the first immigrant visa applicant who goes outside the numerical limit becomes the "cut-off date."

Reporting the cut-off dates on Visa Bulletin has changed for ease of understanding.

Living abroad with a permanent residence

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