Visa Bulletin and Priority Dates
When a U.S. citizen petitions for a sibling to immigrate, understanding the Visa Bulletin and priority dates is crucial, the Department of State issues a Visa Bulletin monthly, which provides the latest priority dates that will receive visa numbers.
Priority dates are essentially a place in line for visa applicants. They correspond to when the U.S. citizen’s petition for their sibling was filed. The marker determines an individual’s turn for visa processing based on availability.
The Visa Bulletin has two key sections:
- Final Action Dates: This section indicates when the visas can be granted.
- Dates for Filing: This area notifies when applicants can submit required documentation even if a visa isn’t immediately available.
A useful feature of the USCIS is the Adjustment of Status Filing Charts from the Visa Bulletin, which helps determine when to file for adjustment. The charts are available when:
- There are more immigrant visas available than known applicants.
- USCIS states you can use the “Dates for Filing” chart.
Here’s a simplified table for understanding sibling petition processing:
|U.S. citizen submits I-130 petition.
|Priority Date Assigned
|Date I-130 petition received by USCIS.
|Visa Bulletin Published
|A monthly update on visa availability.
|Check Priority Date
|Compare with Visa Bulletin.
|Visa Number Available
|When the priority date matches Bulletin dates.
|Final Action or Filing Documentation
|Depending on USCIS guidelines.
Applicants should routinely check the Visa Bulletin to understand their place in the visa queue and be prepared to act when their priority date becomes current.