US State Department to Prioritize Immigrant Visa Approvals

On August 30, the Department of State published an update on the prioritization of immigrant visas at embassies and consulate offices. In the update, the State Department explains that they are using the following tiered approach to process immigrant visas:

  • Tier One: Immediate relative intercountry adoption visas, age-out cases (cases where the applicant will soon no longer qualify due to their age), certain Special Immigrant Visas (SQ and SI for Afghan and Iraqi nationals working with the U.S. government), and emergency cases as determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Tier Two: Immediate relative visas; fiancé(e) visas; and returning resident visas
  • Tier Three: Family preference immigrant visas and SE Special Immigrant Visas for certain employees of the U.S. government abroad
  • Tier Four: All other immigrant visas, including employment preference and diversity visas


Erickson Insights

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many embassies and consulates continue to have a significant backlog of all categories of immigrant visas.  The prioritization is intended to maximize the limited resources and accommodate the greatest demand. Applicants should continue to anticipate delays.

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.