Immigration Lawyer Ari Sauer – The Immigration Answer Man

Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.

When will a visa become available for my petition?

How long will it take for a visa to become available for my petition?

By Ari Sauer, immigration lawyer with the Memphis, Tennessee office of the Siskind Susser immigration law firm.

This is probably the question I get the most from followers on social media. Unfortunately there is not an answer.

The DOS calculates the Visa Bulletin based upon the number of approved

Valentines Day. Public Domain. Credit: Dan Moyle.

Valentines Day. Public Domain. Credit: Dan Moyle.

immigrant visa petitions issued by USCIS and an estimate of the number of beneficiaries that will be applying for visas based on the approved petitions. This is an imperfect system, as the DOS can only guess at how many family members will be applying for a visa along with each of the primary beneficiaries. They also do not know how many people there are who have approved petitions but will not be applying for a visa based on that petition because they are not eligible, have received a visa based on another petition, or have decided not to come to the US.

Since the DOS is basing the Visa Bulletin on guesses and estimates, the dates in the Visa Bulletin do not move forward at a predicable pace. Some months the visa dates will move ahead a week. Some months the visa dates could jump forward a year at a time. This means that it is very difficult to predict how the Visa Bulletin will move and how long it will take for a visa to become available for a particular petition. Sometimes DOS will realize that they have moved the visa numbers to far ahead of where they should be and that there are not enough visas available to grant visas to all beneficiaries for the priority dates they have listed. This will  result in the DOS retrogressing, or moving back, the listed priority date in the following month’s Visa Bulletin. Sometimes all visas for the year in a particular category will have been used before the end of the fiscal year, which will result in a visa becoming unavailable until October when the new fiscal year starts and new visas become available.

So unfortunately there is no way to predict how long it will take for a visa to become available for your petition.

If you would like to discuss your particular case with me or you would like my assistance with your visa or green card application, you can schedule a consultation appointment with me by calling  901-507-4270.

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Submit questions to The Immigration Answer Man by emailing your question to or by posting your question on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn. Questions submitted by email will be posted without the personal information unless specifically requested. Due to the volume of questions received, not all questions submitted will be answered. Only general questions can be answered on this blog. For answers to specific questions about your situation, please schedule a consultation.

Last updated January 8, 2013.

* This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is a Memphis immigration lawyer with the Siskind Susser law firm. On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing and the rules stated may not apply to your situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer before acting on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of Tennessee, New York and New Jersey but is eligible to assist clients from throughout the US. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed.

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This entry was posted on January 16, 2013 by in Permanent Residence, Visa Bulletin.
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