Immigrant Visa Backlog Tops 500,000
Who Gets Priority for a Green Card?

The immigrant visa backlog has increased to over 500,000 over the past year, mostly family-based immigrants and diversity visa lottery immigrants. Most of this backlog has occurred due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 25, 2021, the U.S. Department of State conducted a live video entitled Immigrant Visa Backlog Q & A where a government official explained the reasons for the increasing backlog and answered questions from viewers.

Priority System for Reducing Immigrant Visa Backlog

immigrant visa backlog U.S. embassies and consulates are using a tiered approach to triage immigrant visa applications based on the category of immigrant visa as they resume and expand processing.  While our consular sections, where possible, are scheduling some appointments within all four priority tiers every month, the following lists the main categories of immigrant visas in priority order:

  • Tier One: Immediate relative intercountry adoption visas, age-out cases (cases where the applicant will soon no longer qualify due to their age), and certain Special Immigrant Visas (SQ and SI for Afghan and Iraqi nationals working with the U.S. government)
  • Tier Two:  Immediate relative visas; fiancé(e) visas; and returning resident visas
  • Tier Three: Family preference immigrant visas and SE Special Immigrant Visas for certain employees of the U.S. government abroad
  • Tier Four: All other immigrant visas, including employment preference and diversity visas

 

Client Reviews

Immigrant Visa Backlog Tops 500,000</br>Who Gets Priority for a Green Card? 1

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Immigrant Visa Backlog – Additional Resources

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