The U.S. Department of State has released its August 2023 Visa Bulletin imposing per-country cut-off dates that regulate immigrant visa availability and the flow of Adjustment of Status (AOS) applications and consular Immigrant Visa application filings and approvals. In order to be “current,” the priority date held by a person applying for permanent residence must be before the cut-off date specified in the monthly Visa Bulletin.
To be eligible to file an Employment-Based (EB) AOS application, a foreign national must have a priority date that is earlier than the date listed below for his or her preference category and country of chargeability. The “C” listing indicates that the category is current and that applications may be filed with any priority date.
The August 2023 Visa Bulletin significantly retrogresses the EB-1 India classification by imposing a cut-off date of January 1, 2012, a date that is nearly 10-years earlier than last month’s bulletin cut-off date of February 1, 2022. EB-1 China maintains an unchanged cut-off date of February 1, 2022. In addition, categories that were current last month (EB-1 Rest of the World, Mexico, and Philippines) now have cut-off dates of August 1, 2023. Most EB-2 classifications show slight advancement, except for EB-2 India which continues to maintain a cut-off date January 1, 2011, and EB-3 categories remain backlogged, with the EB-3 category for Rest of the World, Mexico, and Philippines experiencing retrogression.
Final Action Dates Chart Will Control in August 2023
The Visa Bulletin includes both a Dates for Filing chart and a Final Action Dates chart. The Final Action Dates chart indicates when a priority date is current and I-485 AOS applications or Immigrant Visa applications may be approved and permanent residence granted. The Dates for Filing chart, when followed by USCIS, indicates when intending immigrants may file their AOS applications with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Each month, USCIS chooses to either follow the Final Action or the Dates for Filing chart. For August 2023, the USCIS will follow the Final Action Dates chart for Employment-Based AOS application filings. Thus, those seeking to file applications for AOS with the USCIS in August 2023 must use the Final Action Dates chart shown below.
Retrogression is commonly seen across most EB categories during the final months of a fiscal year as the visa numbers for the year are used up. It is therefore likely that the cut-off dates will advance in the October 2023 Visa Bulletin (when FY2024 immigrant visa numbers become available). However, individuals who are eligible to file their I-485 AOS application in July and will be affected by the retrogression in August should evaluate their options for submitting an AOS application before August 1.
The attorneys of Tafapolsky & Smith LLP will monitor and analyze all developments affecting immigrant visa availability, including all statements made by DOS officers before the publication of the relevant Visa Bulletin and will provide immediate updates on any significant developments.