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December 2023 Visa Bulletin Shows Minor Advancement

The Department of State released the December 2023 Visa Bulletin. The visa bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant visas both for consular processing and adjustment of status applications to be filled in December 2023. The State Department releases both the Final Action Dates and Date of Filing Application for Employment-Based and Family-Based immigrant visas. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) confirms which chart Applicants must use to file their Adjustment of Status Application (AOS). Below, we break down the movement seen in the December 2023 visa bulletin.

Employment-Based (EB) Cases

The December 2023 Visa bulletin holds the dates we saw in the November Visa bulletin with minimal movement. As the State Department noted in the October 2023 Visa Bulletin, this is to be expected. We won’t see movement in this quarter to ensure the visa issuance this quarter is within the quarterly limit set by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The State Department did not offer new commentary or insight in the December 2023 Visa Bulletin of the dates. However, based on their October Visa Bulletin commentary, we may see movement in the January 2024 visa bulletin with the start of the second quarter of the current fiscal year.

In the December Visa Bulletin, the EB-1 category remains unchanged from the November Visa Bulletin. The EB-1 Final Action Dates for India and China will remain at January 1, 2017, and February 15, 2022, respectively. All other countries will continue to be current. Similarly, for the EB-2 category, the dates remain unchanged for all other countries at June 15, 2022. The dates for India also stay unchanged at January 1, 2012. We see a slight movement for China, the dates advance by three weeks to October 22, 2019.

In the EB-3 Professional/Skilled Workers preference category, similar to EB-2, the dates remain unchanged for all countries except China. For India, the cutoff date holds at May 1, 2012. For the rest of the world, the cutoff date remains at December 1, 2021. Once again, the dates for China advanced slightly by three weeks to January 22, 2020.

The EB-4 Non-Minister Religious Worker Program is set to expire on November 17, 2023, unless Congress takes action. If there is no legislative action extending the category beyond November 17, 2023, the category will become “unavailable” in the Final Action date chart as of that date. Consequently, no immigrant visas or adjustment of status applications can be approved under the category until Congress passes legislation for a reauthorization. If extended, the category will be subject to the January 1, 2019, Final Action dates in the other employment-based fourth preference categories.

In December 2023, USCIS will accept Adjustment of Status applications for EB based on the Date of Filing chart. The cutoff dates in the Date of Filing Chart have been the same as in the October Visa Bulletin with potential movement in the new quarter.

Family-Based (FB) Cases

The Final Action Date chart for Family-Sponsored cases remains unchanged from the November 2023 visa bulletin. For Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents, DOS continues to set a cutoff date for both charts. For all countries in the Final Action chart, the cutoff date remains at February 8, 2019. For Mexico, the cutoff date remains at February 1, 2019. In the Date of Filing chart, the dates remain at September 1, 2023, for the entire world.

As we have previously mentioned, USCIS and DOS are working to clear the backlog of action before allowing the dates to advance enabling new applicants to apply for an immigrant visa. The State Department is keeping the dates steady to allow the clearance of the backlog. In December 2023, USCIS is using the Date of Filing Chart to accept Family-Based AOS applications.

We continue to monitor and report predictions and movements related to the monthly visa bulletin. If you have questions regarding your priority date, please feel free to contact us. We put our extensive experience and expertise to work for you to ensure you get the right advice.

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