Employment-Based First Preference Green Card Remains Current in March, Others Face Backlogs

Good news for those in the Employment-Based First Preference (EB-1) category seeking a green card: March’s visa bulletin keeps the category current, meaning individuals can file both their I-140 and I-485 applications concurrently. This marks the sixth consecutive month of current status for EB-1, a welcome development after months of backlog.

However, for other employment-based categories (EB-2, EB-3, and EB-4), the news is less encouraging. The final action dates for green card applications have moved backward significantly, resulting in longer waiting periods. For instance, in the EB-2 category, the eligible priority date has regressed from February 15, 2023, to November 22, 2022. Similarly, EB-3 applicants now need a priority date before September 8, 2022, compared to February 1, 2023, in February.

The wait for third-preference unskilled workers (EB-3 Other Workers) has also lengthened. The eligible priority date has shifted from December 15, 2020, to September 8, 2020. Conversely, the fourth preference for certain religious workers (EB-4) experiences a slight improvement with a three-month advancement in the eligible priority date.

The March Adjustment of Status Filing Charts have different instructions depending on your situation. If you seek a green card through family sponsorship, refer to the “Dates for Filing” chart in the March 2024 Visa Bulletin. This chart indicates when you can formally submit your application.

For all employment-based preference categories, you must use the “Final Action Dates” chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for March 2024 to determine whether you are eligible to file for Adjustment of Status in March.

While navigating the green card process can be complex, remember that filing an I-485 opens up options like obtaining a work permit, a social security number, and potentially traveling with advance parole. However, consulting with a licensed immigration attorney remains crucial to ensure all decisions align with your specific case and circumstances.