My employer petitioned for me. How long will it take before I can apply for my green card?

There is an annual limit on immigrant visas ("green cards") that may be issued to those seeking permanent residence in the United States based on employment. The number of visas available is further limited by caps per country and the type of position ("preference category"). The length of time you will be required to wait before you can apply for your green card will be affected by these restrictions.

For many preference categories, there are more applicants per year than there are available visas. Therefore, the Department of State publishes monthly updates (Visa Bulletin) of visa availability based on preference category, country of birth, and priority date. If your case requires labor certification, then your priority date is the date on which your labor certification was filed. If your case does not require labor certification, then your priority date is the date on which your employer filed the I-140 Immigrant Visa Petition. You may refer to the Visa Bulletin to determine when a visa will be available to you based on your country of birth, your priority date and your preference category. http://travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_1360.html.

Finally, before filing for permanent resident status, you should confirm you are otherwise eligible to do so. Call our office today to schedule an appointment to discuss potential employment-based visa options and/or to review your eligibility for adjustment of status with one of our experienced attorneys.

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