Applicants who have filed a Form I-485 Adjustment of Status can check their place in the visa priority queue through the Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin provides the most recent date for when a visa number is available for the different categories and countries for family-sponsored, employment-based and diversity (lottery) visas.
In order to obtain your visa to become a lawful permanent US resident, the vias must be available. Since more immigrants seek permanent lawful resident status than the Department of State grants visas, the government sets up a waiting list, called a visa queue. The amount of time applicants need to wait- even if they have been approved for an EB1-A, EB1-B, or EB1-C visa (whether they are seeking consular processing or a Form 1-485 adjustment of status) depends on:
- Their priority date
- The category of preference
- The country the applicant is from
“If the demand for immigrant visas is more than the supply for a particular immigrant visa preference category and country of chargeability, DOS considers the category and country “oversubscribed” and must impose a cut-off date to keep the allocation of visas within the statutory limits.”
Applicants for permanent legal resident status based on an EB-1 visa can seek permission to enter the US only when their priority date is earlier (or current) with the cut-off date for their category of preference and country – according to the “applicable chart in the Visa Bulletin.”
For example, if the Visa Bulletin shows a cut-off date of March 1, 2020 for China in the EB-1A preference category, then applicants who have a priority date prior to March 1, 2020 can proceed with their request for a Green card.
If the combination of preference category and country are such that more vias are available than there are applicants, then the application is considered current – and thus “available to all qualified adjustment of status applicants and overseas immigrant visa applicants in that particular preference category and country of chargeability.”
“C” in the Visa Bulletin indicated Current. “U” in the Visa Bulletin indicates Not currently available.