Priority date is an important United States immigration system concept – it is the day that a principal applicant first shows his or her intention of migrating to the U.S. based on a valid visa. It is usually set by the Department of State. However, it is not always followed. When there are serious cases of applicants' delays in getting their visa and if their application has not yet been approved, they have to wait for an additional six months to get their visa.
Prioritization dates are set for a number of reasons. These reasons include: the type of visa that a person applies for, his or her employment history, his or her dependents' presence in the country, etc. If the applicant has a visa and a job or his dependents and visa do not meet the requirements for the same, then there is no guarantee that he will qualify for the visa. That is why it's important to check if the applicant qualifies for his visa or not before applying for it.
The visa can be issued on the basis of a person's residence in the U.S. and his or her employment in an occupation that needs the particular skill in order to meet the standards that are set by the government agencies that regulate the work in the U.S. There may be other reasons as well, such as the nationality of the applicant, if the applicant is from a third country and he or she has lived in the U.S. lawfully.
One of the most important dates for immigration is the filing of the Form I-797. This form is called the “immigrant visa petition.” It has to be submitted at least six months before the end of the year in which the applicant wants to apply for his visa. That is why many people take time out of their busy schedules just so they can submit this petition for their pending visa.
Another important date is the filing of the Affidavit of Support form. This document is very important because it establishes the applicant's intention to reside in the United States permanently. If the applicant fails to prove that, then the government will not grant him or her a visa.
It is very important to note that the priority date . . . . . . has to be respected. Once an applicant starts applying for a visa, they have to finish the process in order to get it.