Why is the priority date important?

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In order for an individual to obtain an immigrant visa, a visa number must be available. This is referred to as the priority date being “current.” The priority date is current if there is no backlog in the category, or if the priority date is earlier than the date listed as “current” in the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin. If the Visa Bulletin shows that there is a backlog of visa numbers, the priority date will establish the foreign worker’s “place in line” for an immigrant visa in the applicable visa category. Note that a link to the Visa Bulletin is available at larrabee.beyondideas.com/links.aspx and is updated monthly. Individuals may sign up online to have the Visa Bulletin automatically e-mailed by the U.S. Department of State each month.

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