What Is a Priority Date?

What Is a Priority Date?

A “priority date” is a green card applicant’s place in line while their case is being processed by USCIS. If you recently applied for a green card or adjustment of status, you can find your priority date on Form I-797, Notice of Action.

The waiting time depends on:

  • The demand for & supply of immigrant visas.
  • The per-country visa limitations.
  • The number of visas allocated for your preference category.

To figure out how close you are to the front of the line, you need to compare your priority date to the dates for your category and country listed in the visa bulletin.

How Long Is the Wait for Family-Based Sponsor Categories?

If your application falls into a family-sponsored category, the wait to apply for a green card can range from a few years to over twenty years. Family-sponsored immigrant visas have a quota that ranges between 226,000 and 480,000, depending on calculations based on the prior year’s family-based immigration statistics.

The quota is divided across five categories of eligible family-sponsored individuals:

  • F-1: Unmarried adult sons and daughters of US citizens.
  • F-2A: Spouses and children of permanent residents.
  • F-2B: Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age or older) of permanent residents.
  • F-3: Married sons and daughters of US citizens
  • F-4: Brothers and sisters of adult US citizens.

This year, however, family-sponsored categories have been advancing by several weeks or months with each new visa bulletin. And now that the F-2A category is “current” for all individuals. Family-sponsored applicants will have shorter wait times to apply for green cards because they won’t face as many delays.

Do you have more questions about applying for a green card or determining your priority date? Give us a call at (214) 999-1942 to schedule your free case consultation with a member of our law firm.

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