The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the October 2022 Visa Bulletin. This is the main visa bulletin for the fiscal year 2023. Except if generally specified, all cutoff dates listed refer to the dates in the final action chart (i.e., Chart A).
In October, USCIS will move to accept adjustment of status applications based on the monthly Visa Bulletin’s Dates for Filing Chart, as opposed to the Final Action Dates Chart. This action was normal, because October 2022 marks the beginning of the Fiscal Year 2023, and it is a common practice for USCIS to accept employment-based adjustment of status applications based on the typically more generous Dates for Filing Chart at the beginning of the fiscal year when the yearly supply of available immigrant visa numbers is at its peak. This is in contrast to the last several months of FY 2022 when USCIS chose to determine eligibility for adjustment of status filing based on the more restrictive Final Action Dates Chart.
Retrogression in EB-2 India and EB-5 China and India
As per the October Visa Bulletin 2022, the rapid forward movement of the EB-2 India cut-off dates during FY 2022, which was undertaken to reach the historically high FY 2022 employment-based limit of 281,507 immigrant visa numbers, resulted in heavy applicant demand in the EB-2 India category. That high demand, coupled with projected significantly lower visa number availability in FY 2023, necessitated a significant retrogression in the EB-2 India category to avoid exceeding the annual numerical limits.
October 2022 Visa Bulletin Summary
As per the State Department’s Oct 2022 Visa Bulletin, the employment-based Dates for Filing – which in October will determine whether an adjustment of status application can be filed with USCIS in that month – will be as follows:
Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1) Category
The EB1 category remains current for all countries of chargeability.
Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) Category
As predicted, the cutoff date for EB2 India retrogresses in October. The cutoff date will be set for 1st April 2012. For EB2 China, the cutoff date, advances to 8th June 2019. The EB2 category stays current for any remaining nations of chargeability.
Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Category
EB3 India’s cutoff date advances to 1st April 2012, implying that it now shares a similar cutoff date as its EB2 counterpart. Moreover, the cutoff date for EB3 China pushes forward to 15th June 2018. The EB3 category stays current for any remaining nations of chargeability.
EB3 Other Workers
The cutoff date for EB3 other workers in India is the same as its EB3 cutoff date. For China, the cutoff date for EB3 different laborers moves up to 1st September 2012. Also, for any remaining nations of chargeability, the cutoff date for EB3 other workers is set at 1st June 2020.
Employment-Based, Fourth Preference (EB4) Category
The EB4 cutoff date for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras is set on 15th March 2018, while the cutoff date for EB4 Mexico advances to 15th September 2020. The EB4 category stays current for any remaining nations of chargeability.
Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5) Category
China’s cutoff date for EB5 unreserved (i.e., EB5 immigrant visa numbers not set aside for rural, high unemployment, and infrastructure projects,) retrogresses to 22nd March 2015. In the meantime, India’s EB5 unreserved cutoff date retrogresses to 8th November 2019. EB5 stays current for any remaining EB5 classifications and nations of chargeability.
Further, we will continue to closely monitor and report on movement and predictions connected with the monthly visa bulletin.