What is the Visa Bulletin for?

In this week's Consulta Migratoria® column I answer a question from a reader who wants to know the waiting time for an immigrant visa for his father who lives in the Dominican Republic.

Here is some general information. Please consult with an immigration attorney for personalized legal advice before beginning any proceedings.

My aunt, who is a U.S. citizen, petitioned for my father in June 2010. My father was born and still lives in the Dominican Republic. What will be the waiting time for my father to immigrate to the U.S.? -Samy E.

Samy, the petition your aunt filed on behalf of your father is in family category F4, siblings of U.S. citizens.

According to the May 2015 Visa BulletinThe U.S. Department of State is processing cases of Dominicans under the F4 family category that were filed prior to August 1, 2002.

If the Visa Bulletin continues to move forward, there is approximately a 13-year wait before an immigrant visa becomes available for your father.

What is the Visa Bulletin?

The Visa Bulletin is a monthly report published by the Department of State that indicates how many immigrant visas are available and when they will be ready for processing. This is called the visa availability and priority date.

Priority dates are ordered according to a preference system governing immigrant visa categories.

The Visa Bulletin does not apply to visa applications of immediate relatives of U.S. citizens - that is, parents, spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21. These individuals have immediate access to an immigrant visa as long as they meet all the requirements.

What is the Visa Bulletin for?

The law imposes restrictions on how many visas can be issued each year. The number is limited and depends on the applicant's country of origin.

The Visa Bulletin serves to advise how long it will be before the priority date is processed and a visa becomes available in cases of immigrant visa applications.

The bulletin shows immigrant visa processing delays by country of origin. It is also a guide to issuing visas at U.S. consulates and embassies.

For more details and an example of how the Visa Bulletin works you can go to my blog InmigracionHoy.com.

Send your questions to preguntas@consultamigratoria.com. Include detailed information about your situation to better answer your questions.

Nelson A. Castillo, Esq. is an immigration attorney and author of La Tarjeta Verde: Cómo Obtener la Residencia Permanente en los Estados Unidos (Green Card: How to Obtain Permanent Residence in the United States) and presenter of immigration television segments of El Abogado a Tu Lado on NY1 News. He is a past President of the Hispanic National Bar Association and current President of the Westlake South Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. For information on how to consult with Dr. Castillo, click here. click here.

The purpose of this column is to provide general information. There can be no guarantee or prediction as to what will be the outcome of the information presented by Dr. Nelson A. Castillo. The information should not be taken as legal advice for any individual, case or situation. Consult with an immigration attorney for personalized legal advice before beginning any immigration proceedings.