The U.S. Department of State released its Visa Bulletin for December 2021. That’s a big deal if you’re waiting for your priority date to be current so that your green card application can move forward.

If you don’t know what a “visa bulletin” or a “priority date” is, we’ve got you covered. Start by checking out the NaijaNGR guide on How to Read the Visa Bulletin.

If you’re already familiar with those terms, scroll down to our summary of key developments or to the filing category that’s most relevant to you:

Family-based categories

Employment-based categories



Every month, USCIS announces whether applicants already living in the United States should file their “adjustment of status” applications based on the “Final Action Dates” or the “Dates for Filing.”

For December, family-based applicants — except those in the F-2A category — must use the “Dates for Filing” (available on the State Department’s website), whereas F-2A must use the “Final Action Dates.” Employment-based visa applicants must use the Dates for Filing, as must applicants filing from outside the United States.

Family-Based Green Card Backlogs

F-1: UNMARRIED CHILDREN (AGE 21 AND OLDER) OF U.S. CITIZENS

Country New
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
General Category 15-May-16 15-May-16 No Change
China 15-May-16 15-May-16 No Change
India 15-May-16 15-May-16 No Change
Mexico 1-Dec-00 1-Aug-00 -4 months
Philippines 22-Apr-15 22-Apr-15 No Change

This category sees no change for all countries except Mexico, which sees a 4-month change

F-2A: SPOUSES AND UNMARRIED CHILDREN (UNDER AGE 21) OF U.S. GREEN CARD HOLDERS

Country New
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
General Category No wait No wait No Change
China No wait No wait No Change
India No wait No wait No Change
Mexico No wait No wait No Change
Philippines No wait No wait No Change

This category sees no change, with all countries remaining current.

F-2B: unmarried children (age 21 or older) of U.S. green card holders

Country New
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
General Category 22-Sep-16 22-Sep-16 No Change
China 22-Sep-16 22-Sep-16 No Change
India 22-Sep-16 22-Sep-16 No Change
Mexico 1-Jan-01 1-Oct-00 -3 months
Philippines 1-Oct-13 1-Oct-13 No Change

This category sees no change for all countries except Mexico, which sees a 3-month change

F-3: married children of U.S. citizens

Country New
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
General Category 22-Aug-09 22-Aug-09 No Change
China 22-Aug-09 22-Aug-09 No Change
India 22-Aug-09 22-Aug-09 No Change
Mexico 8-Sep-00 8-Sep-00 No Change
Philippines 1-Oct-03 1-Oct-03 No Change

This category sees no change for all countries.

F-4: siblings of U.S. citizens

Country New
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
General Category 1-Oct-07 1-Oct-07 No Change
China 1-Oct-07 1-Oct-07 No Change
India 1-Jan-06 1-Jan-06 No Change
Mexico 1-Aug-99 1-Jun-99 -2 months
Philippines 1-Feb-04 1-Feb-04 No Change

This category sees no change for all countries except Mexico, which sees a 2-month change

EB-1: extraordinary people, outstanding researchers and professors, and multinational executives and managers

Country New
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
General Category No wait No wait No Change
China No wait No wait No Change
Central America No wait No wait No Change
India No wait No wait No Change
Mexico No wait No wait No Change
Philippines No wait No wait No Change

This category sees no change for all countries.

EB-2: exceptional people and advanced degree holders

Country New
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
General Category No wait No wait No change
China 1-Apr-19 1-Feb-19 -2 months
Central America No wait No wait No change
India 8-Jul-13 8-Jan-13 -6 months
Mexico No wait No wait No change
Philippines No wait No wait No change

Most countries remain current (meaning there is no wait) and two see movement in this category:

  • No wait for the General Category, Central America, Mexico, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
  • China advances by 2 months, and India advances by 6 months.

EB-3: bachelor’s degree holders, skilled workers, and unskilled workers

Country New
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
General Category No wait No wait No change
China 1-Apr-18 1-Apr-18 No change
Central America No wait No wait No change
India 22-Jan-12 22-Jan-12 No change
Mexico No wait No wait No change
Philippines No wait No wait No change

All countries remain current (meaning there is no wait) or see no change this month.


In the EB-4 “special immigrants” category, all countries remain current except for Central America, which advances by 2 month. For the EB-5 “investors” category, all countries remain current or see no change.

Category Country New
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
EB-4: Special Immigrants General Category No wait No wait No change
China No wait No wait No change
Central America 15-May-19 15-Mar-19 -2 months
India No wait No wait No change
Mexico No wait No wait No change
Philippines No wait No wait No change
Vietnam No wait No wait No change
EB-5: Investors General Category No wait No wait No change
China 15-Dec-15 15-Dec-15 No change
Central America No wait No wait No change
India No wait No wait No change
Mexico No wait No wait No change
Philippines No wait No wait No change
Vietnam No wait No wait No change

Why This Matters

If you’re in line for a green card, it’s important to keep track of actual changes (and likely future developments) in the Visa Bulletin. It’s always a good idea to prepare all the documents needed for your green card application ahead of time, so you can be ready to file as quickly as possible once the Visa Bulletin shows that a green card is available to you. By failing to file in a month when a green card is available, you risk facing a surprise backward movement (“retrogression”) in the next Visa Bulletin, which would close your window of opportunity for filing a green card application. Stay tuned for next month’s update! As always, we’ll highlight all the important changes for you.

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