Family Based Immigrant Visas

Chart 1: Application Final Action Dates For Family-Sponsored Preference Cases

When the below chart states that the immigrant’s category is Current (C), no backlog exists in this category for that month. If a category is listed as Unavailable (U), then immigrant visas will not be issued in that category for that month. A foreign national with a birth country other than India, China, Mexico or the Philippines must use the “world-wide” dates to determine whether their priority date is current.

To receive an immigrant visa or an adjustment of status, you must have a priority date prior to the listed date for your category and country, as shown in this chart.

Family-SponsoredWorld-wideChina-mainland bornIndiaMexicoPhillipines
F122 JAN 1122 JAN 1122 JAN 1101 MAR 9601 JAN 07
F2A15 NOV 1515 NOV 1515 NOV 1501 NOV 1515 NOV 15
F2B15 NOV 1015 NOV 1015 NOV 1022 JUL 9601 JAN 07
F315 AUG 0515 AUG 0515 AUG 0508 MAY 9501 MAR 95
F422 MAY 0422 MAY 0422 OCT 0308 OCT 9708 JUN 94

“C” means current and “U” means unavailable.


Chart 2: Dates For Filing Family-Sponsored Visa Applications

When the below chart states that the immigrant’s category is Current (C), an applicant in that category may file immigrant visa application regardless of the priority date. If the foreign national’s country of chargeability (country of birth) is other than India, China, Mexico or Philippines, use the “World-wide” dates to determine the cut-off date.

In order to file an application for immigrant visa or adjustment of status, you must have a priority date prior to the listed date for your category and country, as shown in this chart.

Family-SponsoredWorld-wideChina-mainland bornIndiaMexicoPhilippines
F101 JAN 1201 JAN 1201 JAN 1201 NOV 9601 OCT 07
F2A01 NOV 1601 NOV 1601 NOV 1601 NOV 1601 NOV 16
F2B01 SEP 1101 SEP 1101 SEP 1101 JAN 9701 SEP 07
F301 DEC 0501 DEC 0501 DEC 0501 OCT 9515 JUN 95
F415 NOV 0415 NOV 0422 JUN 0408 FEB 9801 MAR 95

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Each month, the Department of State (DOS) releases a Visa Bulletin that advises on the availability of immigrant visas. The United States regulates immigration by capping the number of foreign nationals welcomed into the country each year. Each person must have his/her own personal immigrant visa number in order to live permanently in the United States. A foreign national can seek an Immigrant Visa at a U.S. Consulate outside the U.S., or file for an Adjustment of Status with USCIS inside the U.S.

Only a limited number of immigrant visas are available in each category. Immigrant Visas are also limited by the country of chargeability, which is normally the country where the immigrant is born. Those who are eligible for a family based immigrant visa petition (I-130) fall into “preference” category and must wait in line for their category and country of chargeability to accept new applicants.

*NOTE: December, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 15 FEB 15. F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 15 FEB 15 and earlier than 22 FEB 15. (All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no F2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)

First Preference:

Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second Preference:

Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, and any unused first preference numbers:

Third Preference:

Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to “Other Workers”.

A. Spouses and Children: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit.

B. Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older): 23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third Preference Other Workers Category:

Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth Preference:

Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences

INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed. Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal. The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit. These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas: CHINA-mainland born, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.


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Chart 1: Application Final Action Dates For Family-Sponsored Preference Cases

When the below chart states that the immigrant’s category is Current (C), no backlog exists in this category for that month. If a category is listed as Unavailable (U), then immigrant visas will not be issued in that category for that month. A foreign national with a birth country other than India, China, Mexico or the Philippines must use the “world-wide” dates to determine whether their priority date is current.

To receive an immigrant visa or an adjustment of status, you must have a priority date prior to the listed date for your category and country, as shown in this chart.

Family-SponsoredWorld-wideChina-mainland bornIndiaMexicoPhilippines
F101 FEB 1101 FEB 1101 FEB 1101 APR 9601 JAN 05
F2A22 DEC 1522 DEC 1522 DEC 1515 NOV 1522 DEC 15
F2B22 NOV 1022 NOV 1022 NOV 1022 JUL 9601 JUL 06
F308 SEP 0508 SEP 0508 SEP 0522 MAY 9508 MAR 95
F408 JUN 0408 JUN 0422 NOV 0308 OCT 9701 AUG 94

“C” means current and “U” means unavailable.


Chart 2: Dates For Filing Family-Sponsored Visa Applications

When the below chart states that the immigrant’s category is Current (C), an applicant in that category may file immigrant visa application regardless of the priority date. If the foreign national’s country of chargeability (country of birth) is other than India, China, Mexico or Philippines, use the “World-wide” dates to determine the cut-off date.

In order to file an application for immigrant visa or adjustment of status, you must have a priority date prior to the listed date for your category and country, as shown in this chart.

Family-SponsoredWorld-wideChina-mainland bornIndiaMexicoPhilippines
F101 JAN 1201 JAN 1201 JAN 1201 NOV 9601 OCT 07
F2A01 NOV 1601 NOV 1601 NOV 1601 NOV 1601 NOV 16
F2B01 SEP 1101 SEP 1101 SEP 1101 JAN 9701 SEP 07
F301 DEC 0501 DEC 0501 DEC 0501 OCT 9515 JUN 95
F415 NOV 0415 NOV 0422 JUN 0408 FEB 9801 MAR 95

Are You Experiencing Immigration Issues?

Get answers to your immigration questions to work, invest, marry or live in the U.S.

Start My Phone Consultation

Each month, the Department of State (DOS) releases a Visa Bulletin that advises on the availability of immigrant visas. The United States regulates immigration by capping the number of foreign nationals welcomed into the country each year. Each person must have his/her own personal immigrant visa number in order to live permanently in the United States. A foreign national can seek an Immigrant Visa at a U.S. Consulate outside the U.S., or file for an Adjustment of Status with USCIS inside the U.S.

Only a limited number of immigrant visas are available in each category. Immigrant Visas are also limited by the country of chargeability, which is normally the country where the immigrant is born. Those who are eligible for a family based immigrant visa petition (I-130) fall into “preference” category and must wait in line for their category and country of chargeability to accept new applicants.

*NOTE: January, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 15 FEB 15. F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 15 FEB 15 and earlier than 22 FEB 15. (All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no F2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)

First Preference:

Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second Preference:

Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, and any unused first preference numbers:

Third Preference:

Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to “Other Workers”.

A. Spouses and Children: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit.

B. Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older): 23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third Preference Other Workers Category:

Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth Preference:

Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences

INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed. Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal. The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit. These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas: CHINA-mainland born, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.

Fifth Preference:

Employment Creation: 7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of P.L. 102-395.

INA Section 203(e) provides that employment-based preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed. Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal. The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit. These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas: CHINA-mainland born, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.


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