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USCIS Sets January 2023 Adjustment of Status Filing Charts For the Visa Bulletin

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Our Analysis: With the U.S. Department of State’s publication of the January 2023 Visa Bulletin, the USCIS has decided it will continue to follow the Dates for Filing for Employment-Based Adjustment of Status Applications. This is a continuation of the December 2022 visa bulletin’s filing table.

USCIS also confirms that it will continue to follow the Dates for Filing for Family-Sponsored Adjustment of Status Applications for the January 2023 Visa Bulletin as family-based immigrant visa usage continues to grow as U.S. consulates move toward normal operations.

As previously predicted by DOS in its December 2023 visa bulletin, it has proceeded to establish Final Action Dates and Application Filing Dates for both India and China starting in January 2023 for EB-1 visa preference category. For Final Action Dates table, India’s visa availability date for EB-1 is now February 1, 2022, while China’s EB-1 visa availability date is also February 1, 2022. For the Dates for Filing of Employment-based Visa Applications table, both India and China’s EB-1 filing date is June 1, 2022. Meanwhile, the EB-1 visa preference category for World, and El Salvador and Guatemala and Honduras, and Philippines remain ‘Current’.

Of further interest here is that in Department of State’s visa bulletin notes, it has provided updates about the Employ-based 4th Category Certain Religious Workers (SR) by confirming that this category remains valid until December 23, 2022, which has been extended based on the continuing resolution passed by Congress on December 16, 2022. However, if U.S. Congress does not extend this category beyond that date, then this category will become ‘unavailable’ starting on December 23, 2022. This situation has to be monitored closely and is subject to adjustment.

In light of above notification, for India EB-2 the visa cutoff date for January 2023 remains at October 8, 2011. Meanwhile, India EB-3 visa cutoff date also remains at June 15, 2012 in the Final Action Dates table for January 2023.

Meanwhile, the Department of State also has to establish Final Action Date for family-sponsored preference cases in the January 2023 Visa Bulletin. For India and China and the World, the filing date is now December 1, 2014. For Mexico, it is November 15, 2000, and for the Philippines , it is March 1, 2012.

Back on the employment-based visa category aspect, in the Final Action dates chart, the employment-based 3rd visa preference category for India and China for the month of January 2023 visa bulletin remained the same as the December 20222 visa bulletin. For EB-3 China, the visa cutoff date remains at August 1, 2018. For EB-3 India, the visa cutoff date remains at June 15, 2012.

In the Final Action dates chart, in the EB-2 China visa category, the cutoff date has remained at June 8, 2019 in the January 2023 visa bulletin.

Separately, in the Dates for Filing chart, for EB-2 China, the cutoff date continues to be at July 8, 2019, while EB-2 India’s cutoff date also remains at May 1, 2012.

As a further reminder, these slower visa movements in the EB-3 category are expected to continue to last for the foreseeable future, and it is the result of previous months in Fiscal Year 2022 of rapid advance movement in the EB-3 visa preference category for two (2) countries - China and India. There was heavy demand for EB-3 visa numbers in FY 2021 and then also in FY 2022. As a result, it greatly outstripped the monthly quota numbers, and it has resulted in retrogression for both India and China starting in the November 2021 visa bulletin and it has continued to remain in slow progression to the present and it is projected to last for the foreseeable future as well.

These visa number movements are consistent with the projections that the Department of State had first provided back in October 2021 in which it forecasted that EB-2 visa filing dates would progressively move ahead in months at the onset, but will start to slow down as the months progress in the previous fiscal year 2022 and has finally retrogressed at the start of the FY 2023 visa bulletin. Meanwhile, the EB-3 visa filing dates would continue to demonstrate slow and steady movement for the upcoming fiscal year starting in October 2022.

It goes without saying that these particular visa categories warrant continuous monitoring in the coming months and into the fiscal year 2023 too.

Finally, on the EB-5 immigrant investor visa category, a reminder once again to readers that the Department of State’s visa bulletin for EB-5 preference category has also been updated to reflect the new provisions of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA). It now has two (2) pools of visa numbers within the EB-5 category. One is reserved for certain set-aside categories while the remaining available numbers remain ‘unreserved’.

In the Final Action Dates chart, the employment-based 5th preference category Unreserved is ‘Current’ for all countries, except for China-mainland born, which is subject to a final action date of March 22, 2015 in the EB5 Unreserved category. It had visa cutoff date of March 22, 2015 in the December 2022 visa bulletin as well.

Furthermore, EB-5 Unreserved category for Indian nationals in the Final Action dates chart remains subject to cutoff date of November 8, 2019. It had cutoff date of November 8, 2019 in the December 2022 visa bulletin as well.

Meanwhile, in final action dates chart for EB5 Set Asides (which covers Rural, and High Unemployment, and Infrastructure areas) for Chinese born applicants as well as applicants from around the world still remain ‘Current’.

As the visa bulletin filing dates continue to move ahead in Fiscal Year 2023, we also encourage readers to continue to check back with our site for any updates regarding this and any other latest immigration news and developments.

Department of State also included reminder notes again about the Diversity Immigrant Visa category. It confirms that entrants registered for the DV-2023 program did undergo random selection and those who were picked in the lottery would now be able to login to DV-2023 diversity designated website and begin preparations to submit immigrant visa applications by following procedures to do so. It should be noted that all eligible DV-2023 visa applicants must receive their immigrant visas (or adjust status, if they are present in the United States) by September 30, 2023. If they do not receive their immigrant visas (or adjust their status in the U.S.) by September 30, 2023, then they would lose their chance to do so, and they will have to pursue lottery registration next year again.

While the monthly visa bulletin is showing slower movement in visa cut off dates, we do encourage you to check in this space regularly for any further updates.

Pasricha & Patel’s Immigration Department has extensive experience in handling business and personal immigration matters. Our team is happy to speak with you on your specific issue.