The Immigrant Visa Process
- After Your Petition is Approved
- Check Priority Date
- Begin National Visa Center (NVC) Processing
- Choose an Agent
- Pay Fees
- Collect and Submit Forms and Documents to the NVC
- Submit Visa Application Form
- Collect Financial Documents
- Collect Supporting Documents
- Submit Documents to the NVC
Check Priority Date
The time you have to wait for an immigrant visa to be available depends on annual limits the law sets in certain visa categories, the date the petition is filed, and the number of applicants.
In family immigration, this is generally the date your petition was filed with USCIS. For some employment based categories, this is the date your labor certification application was filed with the Department of Labor. See our Glossary for more.
Your priority date is considered current when it is earlier than the cut-off date published in the Visa Bulletin for your visa category and country numerical limits. An immigrant visa petition with a current priority date is eligible for processing in that month. See our Glossary for more details.
Each immigrant visa category with annual numerical limits has cut-off dates. Only those applicants with a priority date earlier than the cut-off date can be scheduled in a given month. Cut-off dates are published each month in the Visa Bulletin. See our Glossary for more.
Country of chargeability×
There are numerical limits on the number of immigrant visas that can be granted each year to persons from any one country. These limits are not based on citizenship, but on what the law calls "country of chargeability." Generally, it is the country where you were born. In some circumstances, you might be able to claim a different country, for example the country where your spouse was born. See our Glossary for more details.
Priority Date Checker
The cut-off date for your selection is:
(Day Month Year)
Use this tool to find out which cases are currently eligible for processing, if the approved petition is in one of these categories:
- F1: Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
- F2A: Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents
- F2B: Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents
- F3: Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
- F4: Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens
- 1st: Prioirity Workers
- 2nd: Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degree or Persons of Exceptional Ability
- 3rd: Skilled Workers, Professionals
- 3rd: Other Workers
- 4th: Certain Special Immigrants
- 4th: Certain Religious Workers
- 5th: Targeted Employment Areas/Regional Centers and Pilot Programs
Do not use this tool if the approved petition is in one of these categories:
Approved petitions in the categores below are not subject to annual limits.
- IR-1: The spouse of a U.S. Citizen
- IR-2: An unmarried child (under 21 years of age) of a U.S. Citizen
- IR-3/H-3: An orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
- IR-4/H-4: An orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. Citizen
- IR-5: Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old
About this Tool:
The Priority Date Checker is an online help tool using information from the Visa Bulletin. Visa Bulletins are the only official documents about the availability of immigrant visa numbers. Visa Bulletins also contain projections regarding future visa availability, and other important visa related information.