The answer to this question can be found in the Visa Bulletin. And today I'm going to share with you what it means when your case is considered under the Visa Bulletin. An immediate relative petition is reserved for family members who are a spouse, a parent, or a child under 21 of a US citizen. For those cases the word immediate means they don't have to wait for a visa number to be available. Their category is always available immediately.

Who will be considered under the Visa Bulletin

Now if you are a family member of a US citizen but you are not one of those three kinds of people, you will be considered under the Visa Bulletin. So let me show you what the preference categories look like there. We have F1, F2A, F2B, F3, and F4. You can look up the Visa Bulletin online.  If you type in Visa Bulletin, it will probably pop right up, and you will see all of the various categories.

F1, for example, is for a child of a US citizen, F2A is for a lawful permanent resident's spouse or children under 21, and so on and so forth. The main idea that we're looking for is a spouse of a permanent resident, a child of a permanent resident, a brother or sister of a US citizen, and also children of US citizens who are over 21. So, there are several categories we can look at.

The dates in the Visa Bulletin

The Visa Bulletin includes dates as well. And when you file a case, let's say for example F4, which is for a brother or sister of a US citizen, you will have to wait for the specific date to become available to match up with your filing date. We call that filing date the priority date. And when the priority date matches the date in the Visa Bulletin, then you are able to move forward and get that green card.

How long is the waiting time?

Right now, the waiting time for the F4 category, brother or sister of a US citizen for everyone in the world, is about 15 years long. The date on the Visa Bulletin I'm looking at right now says December 8th, 2006, so that's where I'm getting those 15 years.

Let's look at another category. Under F2A, which is a spouse of a permanent resident or a child under 21 of a lawful permanent resident, there's the letter C, which means current. It means that people in that category can move forward right away.

I hope it has been helpful to you to see who is an immediate relative and who needs to use this document called Visa Bulletin. Contact us if you have any questions.