The Department of State released the July 2023 Visa Bulletin. Most Employment-Based Categories will hold steady with the exception of EB-3 Worldwide, EB-3 India, and Other Workers India:
- USCIS will continue to accept employment-based Adjustment of Status applications based on Final Action Dates rather than the more advanced 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:
- EB-3 Worldwide will retrogress by four months to February 1, 2022; and
- EB-3 India and Other Workers India will retrogress significantly by more than three years to January 1, 2009.
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 and Honduras, Mexico, and Philippines) hold steady at February 15, 2022.
- China: Final Action dates hold steady at June 8, 2019.
- India: Final Action dates hold steady at January 1, 2011.
EB-3, Third Preference Category (Professional and Skilled Workers)
- EB-3 Worldwide (including El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Mexico, and Philippines) will retrogress by four months to February 1, 2022.
- China’s Final Action Dates hold steady at April 1, 2019.
- India will retrogress significantly by more than three years to January 1, 2009.
- All categories will hold steady except for Other Workers India, which will retrogress to the same date as EB-3 India to January 1, 2009.
EB-5: Fifth Preference Category (Immigrant Investors)
- For the EB-5 Unreserved categories (C5, T5, I5, and R5), India and China maintain a cutoff date of April 1, 2017 and September 8, 2015, respectively. 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 higher than expected demand, the State Department has implemented a further cutoff date for EB-3 Worldwide to keep immigrant visa number allocation within the FY 2023 annual limit. As noted in the June 2023 Visa Bulletin, consistently robust number usage and high demand in the EB-3 India category necessitated significant retrogression for this category in July. Substantial retrogression was also implemented for Other Workers India emulating the same date as EB-3 India. As the July 2023 Visa Bulletin estimates that applicants chargeable to India will use all EB-3 numbers by the end of June, employers may wish to proceed in particular with eligible Adjustment of Status applications for EB-3 India applicants in June.
With higher than expected demand and continued retrogression, the ability to file Adjustment of Status applications for employees will continue to be more difficult through the end of the Fiscal Year. Employers should contact immigration counsel to identify foreign nationals who are eligible to file Adjustment of Status applications in June. This is particularly important for EB-3 India and Other Workers India applicants given the significant retrogression observed in these categories for July.