The U.S. Department of State released its Visa Bulletin for October 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 RapiVisa 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

  • F-1: Unmarried Children (Age 21 and Older) of U.S. Citizens
  • F-2A: Spouses and Unmarried Children (Under Age 21) of U.S. Green Card Holders
  • F-2B: Unmarried Children (Age 21 or Older) of U.S. Green Card Holders
  • F-3: Married Children of U.S. Citizens
  • F-4: Siblings of U.S. Citizens

Employment-based categories

  • EB-1: Extraordinary People, Outstanding Researchers and Professors, and Multinational Executives and Managers
  • EB-2: Exceptional People and Advanced Degree Holders
  • EB-3: Bachelor’s Degree Holders, Skilled Workers, and Unskilled Workers
  • EB-4: Special Immigrants
  • EB-5: Investors

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 October, 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-Aug-00 1-Aug-00 No Change
Philippines 22-Apr-15 22-Apr-15 No Change

This category sees no change for all countries.

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-Oct-00 1-Oct-00 No Change
Philippines 1-Oct-13 1-Oct-13 No Change

This category sees no change for all countries.

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-Jun-99 1-Jun-99 No Change
Philippines 1-Feb-04 1-Feb-04 No Change

This category sees no change for all countries.

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
Vietnam 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-Sept-18 1-Jul-18 -7 months
Central America No wait No wait No change
India 8-Jul-11 1-Sept-11 -8 months, 1 week
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.
  • Seven-month change for China and eight-month change for India.

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 15-Jan-19 8-Jan-19 -1 week
Central America No wait No wait No change
India 8-Jan-14 1-Jan-14 -1 week
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.
  • One-week advance for India and China.

In the EB-4 “special immigrants” category, most countries remain current, and Central America and Mexico advance.

In the EB-5 category, almost all countries remain current, while Central America and Mexico advance by at least one month.

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 1-Mar-20 -1 year, 7 months
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 22-Nov-15 -5 weeks
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 1-Apr-20 -1 year, 4 months

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.

Disclaimer: The contents of this post were accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. Immigration is constantly changing, and old information often becomes outdated, including procedures, timelines, prices, and more. Take note of the publish date. For archival purposes, these posts will remain published, even if new information renders them obsolete. Do not make important life decisions based on this content. No part of this post should be considered legal advice, as RapidVisa is not a law firm. This content is provided free of charge for informational purposes only. If anything herein conflicts with an official government website, the official government website shall prevail.

Related Posts

The IR-5 Visa, Explained
Applying for a U.S. Driver’s License as an Immigrant
How to Use the Reciprocity Schedule for Non-U.S. Documents

Blog Categories