Priority Date

“Priority Date” determines your place in the queue for waiting for green card in the categories where there is a wait. When the govt. has reached your PD, it is said to be “current.” For family-based green cards, PD is the date your I-130 was filed; for PERM-based cases, the date your PERM was filed; for employment-based cases other than through PERM (like EB-1 cases), PD is the date your I-140 was filed. DOS publishes the movement of the PD queue every month in the Visa Bulletin:

Priority date retrogression -- consequences and concerns (Updated 10 April 2012)

The current prediction that the priority dates for employment based green card applications are likely to retrogress again has brought a lot of speculation and questions from our clients and our community. Let me clarify some of the questions and concerns.

Q. What happens if my priority date ('PD') retrogresses while my I-485 is still pending?

Green Card Through PERM, Part 1, The PERM Process

1 Green Card through PERM, Step 1 - The PERM process
    1.1 Preliminary points
        1.1.1 Most commonly used process and is based upon a permanent, full-time job offer
        1.1.2 Involves testing the labor market for a defined job
        1.1.3 Green card is for a "future job"
        1.1.4 Employment-based categories 2 and 3 (EB-2, EB-3)
        1.1.5 WE MUST act honestly and in good faith
        1.1.6 There are three steps: PERM, I-140, and I-485 OR consular processing

Locating A Long-Pending I-485 Application and Priority Dates

Question details

1.How can I locate a long-pending I-485 application that has been transferred multiple times and appears to be “lost”?

2.When the priority date is going to become current for an individual with a long-pending I-485 application, is it advisable to send an advance email to USCIS?

1. According to USCIS, if you have an old I-485 that has been transferred multiple time and you do not know where the case is, you should call USCIS.  It is advisable to follow up in case no useful answer is forthcoming.  USCIS aims to keep close control over its case inventory and tracks cases to make sure all the parts stay together and get adjudicated together.

It is also important for the attorney of record (using Form G-28) and the applicant (using Form AR-11) to keep USCIS apprised of any changes of address.

Reminder on Priority Dates Movement

The August Visa Bulletin shows good priority dates movement:

. India EB-2 advances from 2004 to 2008

. According to the visa bulletin there is a positive move for both spouses and children of permanent residents. Family-Based 2A category will be current for all countries as of August 1st.

. Green card holders and their spouses residing legally in the US should be able to file their I-485 packets in August

Ability to Pay Wages when Priority Date is in the Middle of the Year

Question details

How shall ability to pay wages be determined when the Priority Date is in the middle of the year?


USCIS does not calculate ability to pay wages on a pro-rated basis. USCIS will accept proof to show that petitioners have paid the required wage, as shown on ETA Form 9089, for the relevant periods of employment. Additionally, the USICS will accept other forms of evidence, such as pay stubs, W-2’s, and 1099 forms.

Guestbook Entry for Chandra, United States

United States

Rajiv and his team have fixed the priority date issues with my I-485 when I moved my case to them from a different law firm. Rajiv's team Mathew, Mark and Heather who worked on my case are very dedicated and helpful. Rajiv is very knowledgeable, he has answers for any question in the immigration world and he is a very helpful person too, even with his busy schedule he is available to answer any questions. I would strongly recommend their law firm for all the immigration needs

Guestbook Entry for A Singh, United States

A Singh
United States

I had an accident and am on disability while my green card adjustment of status application ( form I-485 ) has been pending for over 4 years. My I-140 had been approved about 5 years back but my case has been caught up in the visa backlogs at USCIS and Department of State. I wanted to know if there was any provision for help in the immigration laws, in case I am sent for long term disability or my employment is terminated before I receive my green card. I learnt that employment and disability are subjects to be discussed with a benefits or employment attorney. The only immigration benefits are via AC 21 or via a private bill. Also, that one should not loose the advance parole anytime while the AOS is pending. I want to thank Mr. Rajiv Khanna for his generosity with time and expert guidance. Over the phone I found him to have a very pleasant personality. he had me feel comfortable and didnt seem money minded at all.

Can approved I-140 be revoked?

Question details

My current employer has filed for my greencard. My I-140 was approved last year. I have 2 more years on my H-1B. I want to change employers and want to know whether: My current employer can revoke my I-140 for changing companies? Even if they do so, can I maintain my Priority Date?

The old employer can withdraw I-140, but the applicant will still be able to retain the Priority Date.  Please review the latest information on this topic:  Priority Date Can Be Carried Forward Even if Old I-140 is Revoked (Unless Fraud or Misrepresentation) –July 7, 2012

Switching Jobs after I-140 approval

Question details

I-140 App Aug 8th 08, EB2 Priority Date Mar 7th 08, H-1 In 8th Year, expiring May 12,

1.If I move to a new company (B), can I still keep my Priority Date which I have from my current company (A)?

2.Can the current company (A) withdraw my application in such a way that I loose my priority date?

1. You can keep the PD only as long as the sponsoring employer does not revoke your I-140, go out of business and USCIS does not revoke the I-140 OR, USCIS does not revoke the I-140 for fraud.

2. No.

Can I file I-140 under EB2 if PERM is filed under EB3

Question details

My Perm is filed in October 2008 under EB3 and was audited. As per your current dates, guessing it might be approved in October 2010.
1. I would like to know if I can file I-140 under EB2 as I got my work experience eligible for EB2 category.
2. If I change employer before my PERM approval, will my priority date change? If so, to retain Oct'08 date, till what time, I can be with my employer?
3. Once I-140 is approved, can I change employer or stay for 6 months and then change employer so that my priority date will retain oct'08?

1. No. PERM application determines what your category is.
2. If your I-140 is not approved, you cannot carry your PD to a new employer.
3. Once approved, you can carry your PD, even if you leave earlier than six months. You do have to start your green card process all over again.