The Department of State released the June 2023 Visa Bulletin. Most employment-based categories will hold steady with the exception of EB-5 India and China Other Workers:
- USCIS will continue to accept employment-based Adjustment of Status applications based on Final Action Dates rather than the more generous Dates for Filing chart.
- EB-1 and EB-2 cutoff dates will remain the same for all countries.
- EB-3 cutoff dates will remain the same for all counties with the exception of China Other Workers, which will advance by about 5 months to September 1, 2015.
- EB-5 India will retrogress by more than one year to April 1, 2017.
EMPLOYMENT-BASED (EB) PRIORITY DATE SUMMARY FOR FINAL ACTION DATES
USCIS confirmed that it will follow the Final Action Dates chart for purposes of eligibility to file an Adjustment of Status application. The Final Action Dates are as follows:
EB-1, First Preference Category
- EB-1 Worldwide (including El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Mexico, and Philippines) remain current
- EB-1 India and China maintain a Final Action cut-off date of February 1, 2022.
EB-2, Second Preference Category
- EB-2 Worldwide (including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Philippines) hold steady at February 15, 2022.
- China: Final Action dated holds steady at June 8, 2019.
- India: Final Action date holds steady at January 1, 2011.
EB-3, Third Preference Category (Professional and Skilled Workers)
- EB-3 Worldwide (including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Philippines) maintain a Final Action cut-off date of June 1, 2022. EB-3 for all countries except China remain ahead of EB-2.
- China’s Final Action Date holds steady at April 1, 2019.
- India’s Final Action date holds steady at June 15, 2012.
EB-5: Fifth Preference Category (Immigrant Investors)
- For the EB-5 Unreserved categories (C5, T5, I5, and R5), India will retrogress to April 1, 2017. China will maintain a cutoff date of September 8, 2015. All other countries will remain current.
- The EB-5 “Set-Aside” categories (Rural, High Unemployment, and Infrastructure) will remain current.
Individuals with a priority date that is either “current” or before the published cut-off date may file an adjustment of status application based on the dates outlined above.
WHAT SHOULD EMPLOYERS EXPECT?
As predicted in the May 2023 Visa Bulletin, due to increased demand, the State Department has implemented a cutoff date for EB-5 India to keep immigrant visa number allocation within the FY 2023 annual limit. Given the significant retrogression of more than one year noted for this category, employers should proceed with eligible Adjustment of Status applications for EB-5 India applicants in May.
The June 2023 Visa Bulletin notes that steady number allocation and high demand in the EB-3 India category will most likely necessitate further retrogression for this category as early as July.
The ability to file Adjustment of Status applications will continue to be more challenging as we approach the end of the Fiscal Year. Employers should work with immigration counsel to identify foreign nationals who are eligible to file Adjustment of Status applications as soon as priority dates are available. This is particularly important for EB-3 India applicants given further anticipated retrogression in this category for next month.
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