Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Priority Dates and the August and September 2019 Visa Bulletin

By Chris M. Ingram, LL.M., ESQ 

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For those of our readers who are not sure what a Priority Date is, I’ll quickly bring you up to speed. So, when you apply for any visa you are given a Receipt Notice and a Priority Date. The Receipt Notice and the Priority Date are noted on the same document. The Receipt Notice basically acknowledges the date that USCIS received your case officially, and the Priority Date, often the same date as the Receipt Notice, confirms your place in the processing queue by date. For most visa applications this is really a non-issue since most visas are processed very quickly, especially if they are fast-tracked through the USCIS program called Premium Processing.

For the many thousands of aliens who have filed for a green card, or to be more exact, filed a petition that if approved will make them eligible to file for a green card, this Priority Date or PD, is very important because often there is long delay between becoming eligible for a green card and getting your green card.


Your Priority Date

If you take a look at the August Visa Bulletin you will see that for 1st Preference green cards (EB-1), for India USCIS is looking at green card applications that have a PD of January 2015 or earlier. Many of our clients where approved for an 2nd Preference green card (EB-2) years ago and so, if they apply for an EB-1 now and get approved, they can use their EB-2 PD instead of the EB-1 PD, which can often place them at the head of the queue.


September 2019 Visa Bulletin

If you look at the September Visa Bulletin, for India you will see the letter “U” and for the ‘rest of the world’ the PD has moved from July 2016 to October 2017 which is an improvement.

Let me explain the “U”. So, each year around October 1st, 40,000 EB-1 green cards are made available. The 40,000 is divided between the countries on this chart.

When the quota has been completely exhausted for the fiscal year, USCIS will post a “U”. This means for all those aliens with approved I-140s, (an approved petition that makes them eligible to file for their green card in this classification), they cannot file for their green card until that “U” is lifted.

The good news is that come October 1st (or a few days thereafter) a new 40,000 EB-1 green cards (same for EB-2 40,000 and EB-3 40,000) will be made available. So, the “U” will most likely be lifted that week, we’ll have to wait and see. 

The PDs that USCIS displays on this chart literally changes every month and it’s impossible to predict what the table will present until its published, because only USCIS knows how many cases they have in the system.

So, here is my advice. If you can get your green card filed before the end of August, then work with us to do so. you have no time to lose. If you cannot, then we’ll spend September preparing and packing your case for the earliest possible filing date in October. So, September should be a very busy month for us, as is every month.

Ok, I wanted to get this newsletter out there so that all of our readers in this situation could get some assurance as to what this all means. I’ll try and write a special newsletter each month around this time, to help our readers waiting for their green card cards to be filed or processed can track along with us.

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.

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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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