How long before my Priority Date is current will I get a letter telling me?

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Question:

I have been waiting overseas for my U.S. immigrant visa for a long time, but I just checked this month’s Visa Bulletin, and my Priority Date is getting closer to the Cutoff Date listed. What do I do next? Do I need to wait to be notified by the government?

 

Answer:

Ideally, you and your petitioner (your U.S. employer or relative) will receive a notice from the U.S. government several months before your Priority Date becomes current. This will give you time to complete Form DS-3032, Choice of Address and Agent, which alerts the National Visa Center (NVC) that you are still interested in pursuing an immigrant visa.

Once the NVC receives your completed Form DS-3032, it will send you further instructions on how to proceed with the application process, including what forms you need to complete and any visa processing fees that you must pay before being interviewed.

But just in case you do not receive this notice, you should check the Visa Bulletin each month (or subscribe to monthly emails) to stay informed about which visas the NVC is currently accepting for processing. You should also make sure that the NVC is aware of your and your petitioner’s current addresses so that you receive information regarding your application.

Once your Priority Date becomes current (the Cutoff Date in your preference category is a later date than your Priority Date or simply says “C” for “current”), you will have one year in which to submit the necessary paperwork. If you wait longer than that, the government will assume you are no longer interested and move to the next applications in line. So contact the NVC if don't receive your notice within a few weeks of being current.

For more about the waitlist and checking the Visa Bulletin, see “How Long is the Wait for Your Priority Date to Become Current?

 

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