Clarification: EB-2 and EB-3 Priority Date for China

Clarification: EB-2 and EB-3 Priority Date for China
August 6, 2014

From June 2013 through May 2014, an anomaly occurred in that the priority-date cutoff was more advanced in the EB-3 than the EB-2 category.  Historically, the queue for green card has almost always been shorter in the EB-2 category.


Because applicants already approved for EB-2 may also qualify for EB-3, many EB-2 Chinese applicants chose to file a second I-140 during that period to request EB-3 classification in an effort to become eligible to file their I-485, or to enable their pending I-485 to become eligible for approval sooner.


For ILG clients who filed a second I-140 to request EB-3 classification for their pending I-485, a request was made for USCIS to interfile the new EB-3 I-140 into the pending I-485 (to take advantage of the advancing EB-3 cut-off date).  Some clients received their I-485 approvals much sooner because of this strategy.


For others, the anomaly did not last long enough for their I-485 to be approved.  However, these applicants will not suffer any setback because the subsequently filed EB-3 I-140 does not invalidate or impact the earlier EB-2 approval. Both I-140 approvals are valid and USCIS may approve their pending I-485 once the applicant’s priority date returns to “current” in either preference category.  So, although EB-2 is more advanced now, there is no need to “undo” the interfile request.