What is a Priority Date?

A Priority Date is the date that a Labor Certification (regular application or with a RIR request) is filed with the State Workforce Commission or the date that an immigration petition is filed, whichever comes first. If a Labor Certification is a pre-requisite for an immigration petition, as in most EB-2 and for all EB-3 categories, the petitioner cannot file an I-140 immigration petition until he receives an approved Labor Certification from the Department of Labor. The Priority Date for an alien who pursues permanent residency or a green card through the Labor Certification process is the date when the U.S. employer files the RIR Labor Certification application with the State Workforce Commission.

The purpose of a Priority Date is to identify when the alien may apply for an Adjustment of Status or may apply for an immigrant visa if outside the U.S. Each month, the State Department's Visa office publishes a table of cutoff dates. The alien may apply for an Adjustment of Status (I-485) provided his/her immigration petition is approved and the alien's priority date is within the established cutoff date for his/her category.

For more information on cutoff dates, please click here.

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