USCIS Sets October 2022 Adjustment of Status Filing Charts For the Visa Bulletin
Pasricha & Patel
With the U.S. Department of State’s publication of the October 2022 Visa Bulletin, the USCIS has decided it will follow the Dates for Filing for Employment-Based Adjustment of Status Applications for the October 2022 Visa Bulletin. This is a change from the past few months when USCIS had been following the Final Action Dates chart starting in June 2022 until September 2022.
USCIS also confirms that it will continue to follow the Dates for Filing for Family-Sponsored Adjustment of Status Applications for the October 2022 Visa Bulletin as family-based immigrant visa usage continues to grow as U.S. consulates move toward normal operations.
Of interest here is that in Department of State’s visa bulletin notes, it mentions that due to rapid forward movements in the India Employment-based 2 nd visa preference category final action date and application filing dates during the previous Fiscal Year 2022, Department of State had to use up all the numbers allotted to this visa category for India. Therefore, as previously predicted, and coupled with the ‘significant lower visa number availability’ for India EB-2 in Fiscal Year 2023 as compared to Fiscal Year 2022, it means that Department of State has to utilize an early cut off date and that has resulted in retrogression. This will be a fluid situation moving forward and Department of State says it will closely monitor the situation and adjust the visa availability carefully.
In fact, for India EB-2 the visa cutoff date is now April 1, 2012. Meanwhile, India EB-3 visa cut off date progressed to April 1, 2012 in the Final Action Dates table.
Meanwhile, the Department of State has updated the final action date chart for family-sponsored preference cases to show that all countries are ‘Current’ in the F2A category (which is for spouses and children of lawful permanent resident) in the October 2022 Visa Bulletin.
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 October 2022 visa bulletin all moved ahead slightly. For EB-3 China, the visa cutoff date is June 15, 2018. For EB-3 India, the visa cutoff date is April 1, 2012.
In the Final Action dates chart, and particularly in the EB-2 China visa category, the cutoff date has moved from April 22, 2018 in the September 2022 visa bulletin to June 15, 2018 in the October 2022 visa bulletin.
Separately, in the Dates for Filing chart, for EB-2 China, the cutoff date is July 8, 2019, while EB-2 India’s cutoff date is 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.
It should be noted that the October 2022 EB-1 visa preference category continues to remain Current for both China and India, along with all other countries in both the Final Action Dates chart and the Dates for Filing chart.
Meanwhile, EB-2 China’s Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases for the month of October 2022 moved slightly ahead to June 8, 2019, from the September 2022 visa bulletin cutoff date of April 1, 2019.
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 show little 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.
For the month of October 2022, in the Final Action dates chart, the Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR) category is showing ‘unavailable’ because the EB4 program for certain religious workers is set to sunset after September 30, 2022. Unless U.S. Congress extends the program by that date, the EB-4 category for Certain Religious Workers will remain unavailable.
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, which represents retrogression of 9 months backward from the September 2022 visa bulletin.
Furthermore, EB-5 Unreserved category for Indian nationals in the Final Action dates chart is subject to cutoff date of November 8, 2019. It was marked ‘Current’ in the September 2022 visa bulletin.
Meanwhile, in the 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.
As the monthly visa bulletin continues to show inconsistent and roving movements, we do encourage you to check in this space regularly for any further updates.
Should you wish to discuss your case matter specifically, we encourage you to contact our office and schedule an appointment so we can assist you further.