What Is A Priority Date?
Why Is The Green Card Priority Date Important?
In today’s blog, we will explain how priority dates are related to your final action dates.
The date your application for the I-140 petition is received by the USCIS is your priority date. When checking the Department of State’s monthly visa bulletin released, you must keep this priority date in mind.
Each category has a limit for the acceptance of an Immigrant Visa. At times a backlog is created that can delay the processing of some applications for several years.
The monthly visa bulletin offer information on the final action dates for each green card category per the applicant’s country of origin. So, look for your date in your category.
Here is an example of how you can check your status on a Visa Bulletin.
Let’s say you’re from the Philippines and wish to work in the U.S. as a nurse. On the monthly visa bulletin, you will check for your current date status under the employment-based category. You will see if the column matches or passes your priority date in the third row. When it matches, you can apply for a change of status to obtain your green card.
The final action dates can be backlogged for citizens of a few countries like China and India for more than ten years. So, this waiting phase should be considered in the total EB-3 application processing time.
But this happens once in a while. There are instances when the processing time for the EB-3 visa card gets shorter than the EB-1. This occurs if the dates of some of the chargeability areas stay or become current. So, be sure to refer to the most recent visa bulletin and consult your immigration attorney to check how long you will have to wait before adjusting your status or going for the consular processing.
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