Rare Chance for Spouses of Green Card Holders to Apply for Green Card Without Waiting in a Queue

The immigration queue for the spouses of U.S. permanent residents is temporarily disappearing, starting in August. Spouses of U.S. permanent residents (green-card holders) can immigrate to the U.S. under the family-based immigration system, but the number allowed every year is dictated by law. This has historically resulted in a multi-year queue for this category - the F2A category. That queue is going to temporarily disappear for at least a couple of months, starting in August.

For the spouse of a U.S. permanent resident to immigrate, the U.S. permanent resident first files an immigrant visa petition (the Form I-130). Upon filing this petition, the "priority date" will be established. The priority date is the date on which the petition was received at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Once the immigrant visa petition is approved by the USCIS, the spouse must then wait in the queue until their priority date becomes current on the U.S. Department of State's Visa Bulletin.

The Visa Bulletin tracks the priority dates of immigrant visas available for family-based immigration, employment-based immigration, and for the diversity lottery. Once an intending immigrant's priority date is reached on the Visa Bulletin, they may then apply for an immigrant visa and complete the immigration process.

As an example, the August Visa Bulletin below shows that in the Family-Sponsored category of F1 - Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (the chart on page 2) - the priority date for people from all countries, expect for people from China, India, Mexico, or the Philippines, is September 1, 2006. This means that if a U.S. citizen submitted an immigrant visa petition for their adult, unmarried son or daughter on or before September 1, 2006, and now has an approved petition with a stated priority date on or before September 1, 2006, the unmarried son or daughter can now apply for an immigrant visa to the U.S.

visabulletin_august2013 by michellesgee

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Adjustment of Status, Family-Based Green Cards, Marriage-Based Green Cards / by Michelle Gee