Ask the Consul
I have been waiting for a long time. When will I get my appointment for my Immigrant Visa?
March 14, 2011
The length of your wait will be determined by the priority date for your case. The priority date is the date when your petition was filed. If you were petitioned under an I, CR, or K visa category then your priority date is largely irrelevant since there is no numerical limit on your visa category. However, if you were petitioned under any other category, then your priority date must be prior to the latest dates in the Visa Bulletin in order to receive a scheduled interview. This means that your case is now "current". You can find the latest Visa Bulletin at www.travel.state.gov; click on the VISAS tab and then the Visa Bulletin link on the left hand side.
U.S. immigration law limits the number of non I, CR, or K visas per year. In order to ensure world wide availability. Thus, your visa category, place of birth, and priority date will determine when a visa number is available for you.
The Department of State tries to allow for immigrant visa issuance all year. Sometimes available numbers are being used too quickly and a priority date has to be moved backward (retrogressed) to remain within legally mandated quotas. If you have been interviewed, but are told there is no number available, we will contact you as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, we cannot predict when a case will become current. You can monitor the movement of the priority dates as announced in the Visa Bulletin to learn when your priority date will be current. To hear the priority dates over the telephone, you can call the Department of State visa information line at (202) 663-1541.