What is the priority date in US immigration?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions among those who are waiting for a Green Card. At Quiroga Law Office, PLLC we will tell you all about it.

The immigration priority date corresponds to the day you applied to apply for a green card before USCIS.

The priority date determines the place on the waiting list for those who will receive a Green Card.

Depending on the origin of the request (work, family, marriage) the applicant must wait a certain time.

Eligible family members of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and of a United States Citizen (USC) each have their priority date.

Also read: Which family members can be requested in a petition made for a permanent resident?

Priority dates for relatives of citizens

According to immigration laws only certain relatives of U.S. citizens always have priority and visas available. They are known as immediate relatives.

This category includes family petitions from sons/daughters to parents, spouses, and unmarried children under 21.

In these cases, the priority date for notification that USCIS delivers upon receipt of the application is just a date. There is no annual visa limit for immediate relatives of US citizens.

However, is not the same with the non-immediate relatives, that is, siblings of citizens, unmarried children over 21, and married children of any age.

Congress has set an annual visa limit for these categories and there is a certain waiting time.

Priority dates for relatives of residents

Lawful Permanent Residents can only petition for their spouse and unmarried children regardless of age.

Their family members will also be subject to the annual limits established, as well as other factors, such as the country of origin.

Both indirect relatives of citizens and relatives of residents are classified according to the Visa Bulletin.

This tool contains the priority dates that are current month by month, indicating who of those on the waiting list will receive their visa.

The Visa Bulletin categorizes them as follows:

Non-immediate relatives of USC

  • Category F1: Unmarried children over 21.
  • Category F3: Married children of any age.
  • Category F4: Married and single siblings of any age

Relatives of LPR

  • Category F2A: Spouse, unmarried children under 21.
  • Category F2B: Unmarried children over 21.

How to check the priority date?

Checking the Visa Bulletin, which is updated monthly, is quite simple. The U.S. Department of State publishes the Bulletin here every month.

Remember, not only are family petition visas are present, but work-related ones are also shown.

In each of the categories, you will find a chart with information on countries of origin and dates. For family petition visa applications, you can guide by the type of category to which your relative is applying (F1, F2A, F2B, F3, F4).

The date that appears in each box corresponds to the requests in that category for which the request was made.

In this case, the visa will be available very soon. If your date is later than the one in the Bulletin, you should keep waiting.

If you have questions about the process, it is recommended that you consult with your immigration attorney.

At Quiroga Law Office, PLLC we are willing to help you and advise you about the immigration procedures that you and your family need.

Do not hesitate to contact us, our team of lawyers will take care of your case and will be with you throughout the process.

Request a consultation or call us, (509) 498-3485.