United Nations retirees and children employment based fourth preference retrogression

By David Gottfried on January 21, 2024

Due to a backlog of cases, you cannot file for the I-360 petition and the I-485 adjustment of status at the same time right now. You must first file the I-360 petition, and then wait your turn in line to file for the I-485 adjustment (green card) or process through the consulate abroad in your home country. The I-360 petition is the form for UN retirees to demonstrate the requirements and get in the wait list.

What you want to do is immediately upon retirement, file the I-360 petition to at least lock your place in line. Then you can wait in the US for your turn, or depart the US. You can still come to the US while in the wait list, with a tourist visa or the visa waiver program. The waiting could be significant, as the backlog is currently at 2019. Ultimately though, when it is finally your turn in line, you will be required to process through your home consulate.

Anyone with a US citizen spouse or US citizen child over 21 should use the family based route instead. See also options upon leaving the UN.

Congress sets limits on the number of immigrant visas that can be issued each year. In order to adjust status to that of legal permanent resident, an immigrant visa must be available to the applicant both at the time of filing the I-485 and at the time of adjudication. The five categories of EB immigrant visas have a cap of 140,000 per year. Of these, approximately 9,940 are EB-4 visas (which is 7.1% of the total allocated amount for EB visas).

The Department of State publishes a monthly Visa Bulletin (below) which lists the cut-off dates that govern visa availability. Therefore, the monthly Visa Bulletin determines which applicants are eligible to file for the I-485 adjustment of status, as well as which applicants are eligible for a grant of permanent resident status. Applicants who have filed their I-360 petition earlier than the cut-off date published in the most current Visa Bulletin are eligible to apply for permanent residence.

The following special immigrants are eligible for the EB-4 visa:

The significant increase in special immigrant juvenile cases (orphaned and abandoned minors), is what has caused this backlog.

visa bulletin