Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

EB2 Priority Date & No Green Card

I did it, and so can you.

By Chris M. Ingram, LL.M., ESQ 

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In this article, I’m specifically addressing all those aliens who have great jobs in America typically, under a H-1B visa. These aliens have even gone further and had their employer successfully sponsor them for an EB-2 green card. However, due to the EB-2 green card backlog, they are left in a queue where they could be waiting for years to actually get their green cards. My goal is to break down this situation for our readers in this situation and then outline possible solutions so this problem.

What is a H-1B Visa?

In short, a H-1B visa is graduate level work visa U.S. employers can use to hire aliens from around the world. So, if an employer has a vacancy to fill that requires someone with a Bachelor’s degree or higher, the employer can petition for any employee from around the world to take that position. The only problem is that Congress only allows 85,000 H-1B visas to be issued per year, on April 1st. Every April 1st, USCIS receives over 200,000 applications per year and thus the H-1B has become a bit of a lottery. I guess, you have roughly a 42.5% chance of being successful.

Many large STEM companies will thus submit thousands of H-1B applications per year to ensure they get their cohort of graduates each year to take up positions and this is how many of our clients have secured their H-1B visas.

If you have an approved EB-2 I-140, and you’re simply tired of waiting from your green card, then talk to us and we’ll discuss your options.

What is an EB-2 Green Card? 

The next logical step towards settling down in the U.S. is to apply for a green card (Legal Permanent Residency). Congress has allocated 40,000 EB-2 green cards to aliens with an advanced degree. You can apply for an EB-2 green card from within the U.S. or from around the world. As long as you have a U.S. employer willing to sponsor you, the process can be started. The only problem is that Congress has determined that before a U.S. employer can sponsor an alien for an EB-2 green card the U.S. employer has to go through a process called Labor Certification (PERM) to prove that there are no qualified aliens ready, willing and able to take up that position.


Sometimes, you just need some help. I had no idea I could qualify for an EB-1 green card. Even when other lawyers had doubts, the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram had none.

Why is there a Backlog?

As mentioned earlier Congress has allocated only 40,000 EB-2 green cards. So, just like the H-1B situation, each year more than 40,000 EB-2 applications are filed and approved, and thus there is now a substantial backlog and nationals from India and China have been impacted the hardest. For example, at the time of writing this article, USCIS is reviewing approved EB-2 applications that were filed June 1st, 2009. So, if you just got your EB-2 petition approved in 2019, you could be waiting ten more years before you actually get your green card. This backlog is known as, being in retrogression.


I’m very much a task-oriented person, so I just did what the legal team at the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram told me to do and before you know it I had my EB-1 approved.


The next level up from the EB-2 green card path is the EB-1 self-sponsored green card. As the name suggests any alien from around the world can apply for an EB-1 green card. In order to qualify for an EB-1 green card, you have to demonstrate that you are at the very top of your profession. Congress has determined that if you have won a major internationally acclaimed award, such as a Nobel Prize, then you automatically qualify for an EB-1. Alternatively, if you can satisfy three categories from this list of ten categories, then you can also qualify for an EB-1 Green Card.

(i) National Award – [More Info]

(ii) Invited Membership – [More Info]

(iii) Published Material About You – [More Info]

(iv) Judging – [More Info]

(v) Innovation –  [More Info]

(vi) Scholarly Articles – [More Info]

(vii) Exhibitions or Showcases –[More Info]

(viii) Leading /Critical Role – [More Info]

(ix) High Salary – [More Info]

(x) Commercial Success – [More Info]


I found that building out my EB-1 categories resulted in enhancing my professional profile in ways I never thought of and this has opened up many career opportunities for me.

Most senior level professionals can, with some effort and coaching, can satisfy three or more categories. For example, most senior professionals play a leading or critical role in the company, and as a result they often make a salary of between $150,000.00 – $350,000.00 (some make more) and have either written some technical articles (or can set about writing some technical articles) or have sat on some judging panels (we can set about getting those opportunities) and next thing you know you have a viable EB-1 green card case.

We have a ton of approved EB-2 green card candidates who are simply tired of waiting in the EB-2 queue. This is your opportunity to switch to the EB-1 queue. So, let me explain retrogression in more detail.

Playing the Retrogression Game


Let us help you today.

When you first Petition for an EB-1, EB-2, or EB-2 green card, you have to file what is called a Form I-140 ‘Petition for Immigrant Worker’. When it’s filed USCIS issues what is called a ‘Receipt Notice’ (‘we’ve got your application’) and that Receipt Notice has a date and that date is also referred to as your Priority Date. The Priority Date (PD) marks your place in the queue.

The good news is that once you have a PD, you can transfer that PD from EB-2 to EB-1. So, if you have been waiting in the EB-2 green card line since 2014, this means you have roughly 4 more years to wait until you get your green card, unless retrogression gets worse, in which case you could be waiting even longer. However, the EB-1 queue is only retrogressed to 2015. So, if you apply for an EB-1 and it’s approved, you can take your 2014 PD and go right to the front of the EB-1 line and collect your green card within just a few months.


Don’t get stuck in a rut.

Let me explain it again. Like the EB-2 green card is retrogressed to 2009, the EB-1 green card is retrogressed to 2015. Both are retrogressed but as you can see the wait time is much less in the EB-1 line. So, for all those aliens with EB-2 PDs, they can now look at where they are now in the EB-2 queue and determin if it would make sense to jump into the EB-1 queue. This is what I call playing the ‘Retrogression Game’.

So, literally everyday we get, mostly STEM professionals, inquiries from senior professionals wanting to play the Retrogression Game. In other words, they want to know if they can qualify for an EB-1 green card and the answer is typically yes, providing they are prepared to work with us to develop their profile to fit the EB-1 requirements. Most senior professional people will not naturally meet three of the EB-1 categories, but with support and coaching we can definitely work with them to get there.

Trading Priority Dates


Having had my consultation with the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram, we have some serious thinking to do.

Did you know, that if one spouse has an early PD, this can be transferred to their spouse. For example, if one spouse has the qualifications to meet the EB-2 but their spouse has even more qualifications and experience to qualify for an EB-1, the EB-2 PD from one spouse can be transferred to the other spouse to get through retrogression. If you are in this situation, please let us know and we’ll talk you through it.



We have the experience and track record to secure your green card. Are you ready?

Our goal is help as many people as possible to qualify for and get their green cards as quickly as possible. We live in very uncertain times, especially in the field of U.S. Immigration. You have to be highly proactive; I’ve seen so many people dither about taking plunge only to find that their wait times just get longer. So, if you have an EB-2 PD, get in touch today and let’s see what we can do for you.

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
[Cross Streets 4th and Wilshire]
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 310 496 4292

Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.

Please note that nothing contained in this website or link therefrom shall be regarded as providing legal advice. Please contact us directly for legal advice specific to your situation. Thank you.

Specializing in the E2 Visa, EB1 Green Card, L-1A Visa and O1 Visa and K1 Visa Marriage-Based Immigration. Attorney Chris M. Ingram is dedicated to providing the very best in US Immigration legal representation. Enjoy our website.

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