Understanding Green Card Priority Dates | Immigration Lawyer in Connecticut
The concept of priority dates is an important one in immigration law. There are yearly limits on both the number of family-sponsored immigrant visas and work-related immigration visas (green cards). An immigrant visa cannot be issued, nor can an adjustment of status application (I-485) be filed, until the alien's priority date is current.
Each month the Department of State publishes new dates for each preference category. By checking the priority dates monthly, one can estimate the length of time someone would need to wait until an immigrant visa or green card would become available.
Our immigration law firm can help. Lawyer John J. LaCava has more than 25 years of experience helping individuals and families with visa and permanent residence status issues. Contact our law firm today to schedule a consultation.
NOTE: The parents, spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of age of a United States citizen are classified as immediate relatives and do not have to wait. Visas are always available for this category.
Identifying Preference Categories
The first step in determining when a visa would be available is to identify the correct visa preference category.
The family-sponsored preferences are as follows:
- Unmarried sons and daughters of United States citizens (i.e., unmarried children over the age of 21 — unmarried children under the age of 21 are considered immediate relatives)
- Spouses, children and unmarried sons and daughters of permanent residents. There are two (2) second-preference categories:
- Spouses and children of permanent residents. These are the 2A category.
- Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age or older). These constitute the 2B category.
- Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
- Brothers and sisters of adult citizens
The employment-based preferences are as follows:
- Priority workers
- Members of professions holding advanced degrees or persons of exceptional ability
- Skilled workers, professionals and other workers
- Certain special immigrants
- Employment creation visas (investor visas)
Click here for the Department of State's current visa availability chart http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_1360.html
Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney in Stamford, Connecticut
Immigration law is complex and one simple mistake could prevent you from obtaining the visa you need to live or work in the United States. If you are on a permanent residency waiting list or need help understanding priority dates, contact the Law Offices of John J. LaCava. You can speak with an immigration lawyer directly about your immigration needs.
Evening, weekend and off-site consultations are available by appointment.
Attorney LaCava is listed in the Woodward-White publication "Best Lawyers in America" in the field of Immigration.
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