The U.S. Department of State has released its December 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 December 2023 Visa Bulletin maintains the India EB-1 cutoff date of July 1, 2019. where the major retrogression for this category was imposed earlier this year. EB-1 China has an unchanged cut-off date of August 1, 2022. In addition, EB-1 Rest of the World, Mexico, and Philippines remain current. The Rest of the World, Mexico, and Philippines EB-2 cut-off dates remain at January 1, 2023. EB-2 India’s cut-off date is still May 15, 2012. All EB-3 categories remain backlogged, with the EB-3 category for the Rest of the World at February 1, 2023, China EB-3 at September 1, 2020, and India EB-3 at August 1, 2012.
Dates for Filing Chart Will Control in December 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 December 2023, the USCIS will follow the Dates for Filing chart for Employment-Based AOS application filings. Thus, those seeking to file applications for AOS with the USCIS in December 2023 must use the Dates for Filing chart shown below.
The December Visa Bulletin contains no commentary by the State Department on the cut-off dates chosen for this month and no prediction is made as to future cut-off date movement or immigrant visa availability. As we move into 2024 and a new quarter, it is possible that advancement may occur, given the agency’s stated intention to keep immigrant visa issuance within the year’s quarterly limits.
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.