The U.S. Department of State has released its October 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 the applicant’s 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 October 2023 Visa Bulletin has lessened the significant retrogression in the EB-1 India classification in the Final Action dates that occurred in August. The India EB-1 Final Action cut-off date is now January 1, 2017, an advancement of 5 years from the September Visa Bulletin. The India EB-1 Dates for Filing cut-off retrogressed by nearly 3 years to July 1, 2019 on the October visa bulletin. In addition, EB-1 China’s Final Action and Dates for Filing cut-offs both advanced, and the EB-1 Rest of the World, Mexico, and Philippines cut-off dates have been eliminated and this category is now current.
All EB-2 and EB-3 categories remain backlogged. The Final Action dates for all EB-2 and EB-3 categories advanced, and there was also forward movement in the Dates for Filing cut-offs for all EB-2 categories and for EB-3 China. However, the Dates for Filing cut-offs for EB-3 Rest of the World, Mexico, and the Philippines retrogressed by several months.
Dates for Filing Chart Will Control in October 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 October 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 October 2023 must use the Dates for Filing chart shown below.
October is the first month in Fiscal Year 2024 for the U.S. Department of State and with the availability of new immigrant visa numbers, most cut-off dates have advanced. The agency notes that this advancement reflects an intention to keep immigrant visa issuance within the year’s quarterly limits. Further advancement in all categories may therefore occur as the year progresses.
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.