On August 30, 2021 the United States Department of State clarified how it is prioritizing the processing of immigrant visa applications. The State Department has created four tiers of visa applications, and are scheduling appointments focused on the higher tiers. Some appointments, however, however, will be scheduled for all tiers each month. In addition, the State Department may, on request, expedite cases from any tier if the beneficiary will work at a facility engaged in pandemic response. The tiers are as follows:
- Tier One: Immediate relative adoptions, age out cases, Special Immigrant Visas for Afghan and Iraqi nationals working with the U.S. government.
- Tier Two: Immediate relative visas, fiance(e) visas, and returning resident visas.
- Tier Three: Family preference visas and SE Special Immigrant Visas fro certain employees of the U.S. government abroad.
- Tier Four: All other immigrant visas including employment preference and diversity visas.