The U.S. Department of State has released its March 2023 Visa Bulletin, imposing per-country cut-off dates that regulate immigrant visa availability and the flow of Adjustment of Status (AOS) application and consular Immigrant Visa application filings and approvals.
To be eligible to file an Employment-Based (EB) AOS application, prospective green card applicants must have a priority date that is earlier than the date listed below for their 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 March 2023 Visa Bulletin maintains the same cut-off dates of June 1, 2022, for China and India EB-1 applicants from last month. The EB-2 Rest of World category (which includes all nations other than China, India, Mexico, the Philippines, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) also continues in place from last month and is unchanged at December 1, 2022.
Some modest retrogression in the cut-off dates for the EB-4 category has occurred in the March Visa Bulletin.
Dates for Filing Chart Will Control in March 2023
The Visa Bulletin includes both a Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart and an Application Final Action Dates chart. The former indicates when intending immigrants may file their I-485 AOS applications or move forward in the Immigrant Visa consular process, while the latter indicates when I-485 AOS applications or Immigrant Visa applications may be approved.
Each month, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) chooses which of the Final Action or Dates for Filing charts it will follow. For March 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 March 2023 must use the Dates for Filing chart as shown below.
Employment-Based First Preference (EB-1)
The EB-1 category remains current (C) in March for all areas of chargeability other than China and India, with no cut-off dates imposed. This means that all EB-1 applicants from these areas can immediately file their I-485 AOS applications regardless of their country of chargeability.
Increased demand in the EB-1 category has resulted in the imposition of cut-off dates for EB-1 applicants chargeable to India and China in recent months. These cut-off dates remain the same in the March Visa Bulletin. EB-1 applicants chargeable to China or India who have a priority date before June 1, 2022 can file their I-485 AOS applications with the USCIS.
Employment-Based Second Preference (EB-2)
The EB-2 cut-off date for China remains at July 8, 2019, with no change from last month. EB-2 applicants chargeable to China who have a priority date before July 8, 2019, can file their I-485 AOS applications with the USCIS.
The EB-2 cut-off date for India remains at May 1, 2012, with no change from last month. This means that Indian EB-2 applicants who have a priority date before May 1, 2012, can file their I-485 AOS applications with the USCIS.
The March 2023 Visa Bulletin imposes a cut-off date of December 1, 2022, again unchanged from last month, for EB-2 applicants chargeable to the Rest of World category, as well as to El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines.
Employment-Based Third Preference (EB-3)
The EB-3 cut-off date for China remains at September 1, 2018. This means that China EB-3 applicants whose I-485 applications have not yet been filed and have a priority date before September 1, 2018, can file their I-485 AOS applications with the USCIS.
The EB-3 cut-off date for India remains at August 1, 2012. This means that India EB-3 applicants whose I-485 AOS applications have not yet been filed and have a priority date before August 1, 2012, can file their I-485 AOS applications with the USCIS.
All other EB-3 cut-off dates remain current (C).
The March 2023 Visa Bulletin leaves the cut-off dates for all EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 categories unchanged from last month, with only a retrogression in the EB-4 category.
The Rest of World EB-2 cut-off date continues to be a very late one of December 1, 2022 and it is unlikely that many prospective applicants will be significantly disadvantaged by the imposition of this date. Only those with priority dates of December 2, 2022 onwards will find themselves unable to file I-485 AOS applications in March.
The attorneys of Tafapolsky & Smith LLP will continue to monitor and analyze all developments affecting immigrant visa availability, including all statements made by U.S. State Department officers before the publication of the relevant Visa Bulletin and will provide immediate updates on any significant developments.