Preference Cases

Most prospective immigrant visa applicants qualify for status under the law on the basis of family relationships. Entitlement to visa processing in these classes is established ordinarily through approval by Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) of a petition filed on the applicant’s behalf. The petitions of applicants who will be processed at an overseas post are forwarded by CIS to the Department of State; applicants in categories subject to numerical limit (preference immigrant visa cases) are registered on the visa waiting list. Each case is assigned a priority (i.e., registration) date based on the filing date accorded to the petition. Visa issuance within each numerically limited category is possible only if the applicant’s priority date is within the applicable cut-off dates which are published each month by the Department of State in the Visa Bulletin. Family and Employment preference applicants compete for visa numbers within their respective categories on a worldwide basis according to priority date; a per-country limit on such preference immigrants set by the Immigration and nationality Act places a maximum on the amount of visas which may be issued in a single year to applicants from any one country. For assistance with the preparation and filing of any Family-based case, please contact The Ezer Law Group PLLC at