USCIS October 2022 Bulletin: E-2, E3, and E-5 Priority Date Retrogression Affecting India and China Applicants

September 6, 2022
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The US visa priority date is the date that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)/DOL (Department of Labor)  receives your petition to immigrate to the U.S. The priority dates differ as follows:     Visa retrogression occurs when the applications for a visa in a particular category or country are more than the visas available for that month, which typically occurs toward the end of the fiscal year when the annual category or per-country visa quota approaches exhaustion. When the new fiscal year 2023 begins on October 1, usually, but not necessarily, priority dates return to where they were before retrogression because of the new supply of visas in the new year. Retrogression means that due to the statutory limits, visas are not available to all noncitizens, but that is not the end of the road. You may still receive a visa when one becomes available to you based on that priority date.   As expected every year-end, the October 2022 USCIS Visa Bulletin has also listed the new priority dates for the month of October. The most surprising change is with India EB2’s Final Action Date, which has regressed more than 2 years and 8 months. It is a common practice for USCIS to accept employment-based visa applications based on a more generous Dates for Filing Chart at the beginning of the fiscal year when the availability of immigrant visa numbers is at its maximum.    The State Department’s October Visa Bulletin summarizes the number of immigrant visas available during October, which in October will determine when should the status change petitions can be filed with USCIS that month. Let’s take a look at the important changes that are announced by the bulletin as per which USCIS will accept employment-based petitions with priority dates that are prior to the Dates for Filing listed in the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for October. 
  • While the India Date for Filing for EB-2 India will be retrogressed by over two years, to May 1, 2012, the same for China will be advanced by more than two months, to July 8, 2019.
  • The China Date for Filing for EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers will be advanced to July 15, 2018, and that for India to July 1, 2012.
  • For all countries other than China and India, there won’t be any change in the  Dates for Filing for EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers categories.
  • The current Date for Filing for the Unreserved category of EB-5 for China will not change, but a cut-off of December 8, 2019, for the Date for Filing will be imposed for India. This will remain current for all other countries.
  USCIS will compare the number of visas available for the remainder of the fiscal year with the qualified visa applications, pending applications, and historical drop-off rate of applicants, to determine the availability of status change applications.  

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