Immigration Blog

October 5, 2023

What Is The Visa Bulletin?

United States of America Visa Page, Close up of a text Visa, Visa Stamp

If you have an approved I-130 petition and have not been able to obtain your green card it may be because your priority date isn’t current. To find the priority date you will need to review the visa bulletin board at The visa bulletin is issued every month by the Department of State. The priority date either moves forward or in special circumstances can move backwards. The reasoning for this is to estimate the green cards that can be issued each year. The number of people who are seeking green cards has consistently exceeded, creating a backlog. Specific categories can vary from years to decades.

What are the family sponsored preferences?

  • F1 (first preference): Unmarried adults (age 21 and over) who are children of U.S. citizens. The cap for this category is 23,400 green cards per year.
  • F2 (second preference): Spouses and unmarried children of green card holders. The overall cap for this category is 114,200 green cards per year, but it’s split into two sub-categories:
    • F2A: Spouses and unmarried minor children (under age 21) of green card holders. 77% of the second category quota goes towards this F2A sub-category (87,934 green cards per year).
    • F2B: Unmarried adult children (age 21 and over) of green card holders. 23% of the second category goes towards this F2B sub-category (26,266 green cards per year).
  • F3: (third preference): Married children of U.S. citizens, regardless of age. The cap for this category is 23,400 green cards per year.
  • F4 (fourth preference): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens. The cap for this category is 65,000 green cards per year.

If you are interested in applying or would like more information Attorney Diana Bailey of Portland and Fresno has over 24 years of immigration law experience. Please call our office for a free telephone consultation at 866-521-6422.