What is the final action date?

Last update: February 21, 2018

Why is there such a thing as a final action date?
In family-based immigration, there is a final action date in every green card category (F1, F2A spouse and children of a green card holder, …) that has more applicants than they are available green cards (because of annual numerical limits).

Does the final action date matter to immediate relatives ?

No. It matters only to applicants who are eligible for a family-based preference.

Why are there different final action dates for different countries?

Because there is also an annual limit for each and every country across all family-based preferences. Applicants who were born in Mexico and The Philippines in particular wait much longer than others.

What does it mean when a priority date is ‘current’?

Let’s say that the priority date of the applicant is the 1st of December, 2010 and that the final action date is the 22nd of December, 2010. The priority date is earlier (before) the final action date. That is when the priority date is said to be current:

What happens when the priority date becomes ‘current’?

It depends on the filing sequence of the green card application:

Where can the final action dates be found? 

The Department of State publishes final action dates for various green card categories and countries of chargeability every month as part of the visa bulletin. You can obviously find these dates here at Immigration Planner, but also directly in the visa bulletin.

Let’s find out the final action date for an applicant born in Jamaica who is in the F1 green card category (unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens).

Sanctuary cities
What is a sanctuary city?

Sanctuary city is a city where law enforcement does not inquire about immigration status and limits its cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Time to use the new I-485

After August 25th, 2017, requests to adjust status (form I-485) will be rejected by USCIS unless the latest version of the form is used.

Which immigration reform did the U.S. President endorse in August 2017?

In August 2017, the President of the United States endorsed a 'merit-based' immigration system which would change significantly the existing family-based green card process.