In our last post, I introduced the different categories of Family-Based Residency. To review the different categories, you may click here for the post http://www.cftienlaw.com/blog/2009/12/getting-a-green-card-series-part-1/.
Today, we will discuss the quota system and how it affects the Family-Based Green Card petitions. First, if you’re an immediate relative of a U.S. Citizen, then you do not have to worry about the quota system because there are visa numbers immediately available to you.
If you’re in one of the preference categories, however, the quota system may affect your Green Card application because you are subject to the yearly quota of visa numbers available per year for each preference category. Therefore, you will have to wait until your priority number is current. The waiting period depends on your particular preference category. The lower your preference category, the longer you wait. For example, if you’re in the Fourth (4th) Preference category, your waiting period will be longer than those in the First (1st) Preference category. You can check the wait time by visiting USCIS’s Visa Bulletin at http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_4539.html.
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