[Immigration 101]-Visa Bulletin

2 min readFeb 28, 2024


The Visa Bulletin serves as a crucial resource, offering an updated waiting list for immigrants subject to the quota system. For Green Card hopefuls with approved Form I-130 or I-140, understanding this bulletin becomes paramount, as it delineates the timing for critical steps like applying for Form I-485 or advancing to the visa interview stage. To navigate this intricate process effectively, it’s imperative to meticulously verify your visa type, priority date, and country of origin before consulting the bulletin, ensuring you’re perusing the correct information.

Your priority date, often compared to a ticket in hand, signifies your place in line for Form I-485 or consular processing. This date is typically communicated to you via a notice letter upon filing Form I-130 or I-140 with USCIS. Moreover, it’s essential to discern the distinction between your country of origin and current citizenship, as the former dictates your place in the queue. The Department of State (DOS) updates the visa bulletin monthly, with a “current” priority date indicating readiness for the next step in the immigration journey.

When perusing the visa bulletin, distinguishing between “dates for filing” and “final action dates” becomes pivotal, especially based on your location — applicants outside the U.S. typically refer to the former, while those within the U.S. generally focus on the latter. However, the intricacies of visa processing can vary, with USCIS occasionally advising applicants to refer to specific dates based on visa availability.

Navigating the visa bulletin can be daunting, but there’s a simpler solution: the Lawfully app. By inputting your details, you can access personalized visa bulletin updates within minutes, eliminating the need for manual searches. From tracking your progress to comparing historical data, this tool streamlines the immigration process, providing comprehensive insights without the hassle. With Lawfully’s user-friendly interface and automatic notifications, staying informed about the visa bulletin has never been easier.

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