Immigrants to the United States are categorized under those that need a waiting list, such as those seeking admission as a relative of a permanent resident, and those who don’t, such as the husband or wife of a U.S. citizen. For those visas that require a waiting list, a certain number of visas become available annually. For example, there are about 23,000 visas available for married sons and daughters of US citizens; if the number of applicants in a year is over the available visa numbers, those applicants are placed are given a priority date and placed on a waiting list. The monthly bulleting estimates when an applicant would get a visa based on the number of previous applicants in the list.
Visa Bulletin is a monthly publication that provides updated monthly numbers of the list of applicants and the “current” priority date for those applicants. The publication normally is issued the second or third week of each month.