May 2018 Visa Bulletin from USCIS: New Green Card Wait Times

April 17, 2018 Chelsea Iversen

The May 2018 Visa Bulletin has been released by USCIS. For more details, please see below.

Dates for Filing Family-Sponsored Adjustment of Status Application:

May 2018 visa bulletin - Dates for Filing Family-Sponsored Adjustment of Status Application

Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Adjustment of Status Applications:

May 2018 visa bulletin - Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Adjustment of Status Applications

May 2018 Visa Bulletin overview

The wait times for family-sponsored green card applications haven’t changed much since last month. That means that some families are still waiting over 20 years for a green card priority date. Wait times for the F2A immigrant visa are the shortest, while wait times for the F3 and F4 family-sponsored green cards and the longest, especially for nationals from Mexico and the Philippines.

For employment-based green card applications, the wait time has increased for Chinese nationals in all categories except C5 and T5. For nationals from India and the Philippines, third preference visa wait times have lessened somewhat, while citizens of Mexico are waiting somewhat longer now for fourth preference immigrant visas.

One of the most significant changes from last month is that legislation has extended availability of visa applications for certain religious workers and I5-and R5-category visas, which were unavailable last month. Vietnam has been added to the list of countries, with all employment-based visa applications current to Vietnamese nationals except fifth priority (C5, T5, I5 and R5 visas), which have a backlog of roughly four years.

Learn more about visa wait times, including who’s waiting and for how long, in our recent blog post.

What do the letters mean in the Visa Bulletin?

A “C” indicates that a category is current, meaning that applicants can file their paperwork regardless of any priority date listed. Current status is subject to change, however, and any changes are reflected on a month-to-month basis with each Visa Bulletin update.

New Visa Bulletin charts

The Visa Bulletin will now have two different charts because of the revised procedures. DOS will post two charts per visa preference category in the DOS Visa Bulletin. The charts are:

  • Application Final Action Dates (dates when visas may finally be issued); and
  • Dates for Filing Applications (earliest dates when applicants may be able to apply).

When USCIS determines there are immigrant visas available for the filing of additional adjustment of status applications, the Dates for Filing Applications chart may be used to determine when to file an adjustment of status application with USCIS. Otherwise, the Application Final Action Dates chart must be used to determine when to file an adjustment of status application with USCIS.

In coordination with the DOS, USCIS will monitor visa numbers each month and post the relevant chart on this page under When to File.

For the official May 2018 Visa Bulletin from USCIS, please navigate to uscis.gov.

Questions about filing green card applications? Read our guide, Introduction to Employment-Based Green Cards, to learn more.

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