Skip to main content

How Retrogressed Priority Dates Impact EB2 NIW Green Card Applicants

A laptop, planner, calendar, and stationary on a table.

Applying for a green card under the EB2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) category involves two main steps. The first step is the I-140 petition, which is submitted to USCIS to determine eligibility for the green card. With the introduction of premium processing, applicants can now receive a decision within 45 days.

Once the I-140 petition is approved, the next step is to apply for the green card itself. This can be done by applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad or by applying for an adjustment of status if the applicant is already in the United States. However, the number of green cards available each year is limited.

When priority dates retrogress, it means that applicants cannot immediately file for a green card after their I-140 is approved. Instead, they must wait until the priority dates become current again. This delay can significantly impact the timeline for obtaining a green card under the EB2 NIW category.  In some cases, this can last for years.  Also, when a category is delayed, the I-485 cannot be filed so the applicant cannot apply for travel and work authorization.

This problem makes planning very important. An applicant that is currently in the U. S. must make sure that they are able to maintain valid status and work authorization during this wait time.  At the date of writing this article, all EB-2 national interest waiver categories were not current for any country.  The waits are extensive for India and China and about a year for other countries.

For those seeking further guidance on how priority date retrogression might affect their green card application, we offer free resources and personalized consultations. Schedule a consultation with our expert lawyers to get tailored advice for your immigration journey.

FREE National Interest Waiver (NIW) Resources

Click on the buttons below in order to claim your free National Interest Waiver (NIW) Guide, sign up for our free National Interest Waiver (NIW) Webinar, or watch our National Interest Waiver (NIW) videos.

Download Our National Interest Waiver (NIW) Guide
Sign Up For Our National Interest Waiver (NIW) Webinar
Watch Our National Interest Waiver (NIW) Videos

Set up a National Interest Waiver (NIW) Consultation

For a dedicated one-on-one National Interest Waiver (NIW) consultation with one of our lawyers, click on the button below to schedule your consultation.

Schedule a consultation

This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising. Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

Leave a Reply