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April 2023 Department of State Visa Bulletin Shows Further Retrogression , Anticipates Further Delays

Published: 03/27/2023

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs has released the Visa Bulletin for April 2023. The new Visa Bulletin reflects an ongoing trend of backlogs and slowdowns in the visa process, in stark contrast to the progress reflected in the Visa Bulletin in fiscal years 2021 and 2022.

As warned by the Department of State in the Visa Bulletin for March 2023, the final action dates for multiple categories have again retrogressed due to a rising demand in green card applications. Notably, the priority dates for the Employment-Based Second Preference (EB-2) category has retrogressed in multiple subcategories, including worldwide, India, Mexico, and Philippines, with the retrogression for EB-2 India as the most severe (from October 2011 to January 2011). The priority dates in the EB-4 category have also retrogressed significantly, as seen in the final action date chart below.
Employment-
Based
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
Mainland
Born
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
1stC01FEB2201FEB22CC
2nd01JUL2208JUN1901JAN1101JUL2201JUL22
3rdC01NOV1815JUN12CC
Other Workers01JAN2001OCT1415JUN1201JAN2001JAN20
4th01SEP1801SEP1801SEP1801SEP1801SEP18
Certain Religious Workers01SEP1801SEP1801SEP1801SEP1801SEP18
5th Unreserved
(including C5, T5, I5, R5)
C08JUL1501JUN18CC
5th Set Aside:
Rural (20%)
CCCCC
5th Set Aside:
High Unemployment (10%)
CCCCC
5th Set Aside:
Infrastructure (2%)
CCCCC
 
For April 2023, USCIS has confirmed it will adopt the above final action date chart in determining eligibility for filing I-485 adjustment of status applications. These measures taken by the Department of State and USCIS are in response to continuing high demand for green cards applications in the EB-2 category, coupled with fewer numbers available this fiscal year in comparison to fiscal years 2021 and 2022. The Department of State will continue to monitor visa application demand and make further adjustments in the coming months. In the Visa Bulletin for March 2023, the Department of State also cautioned that increasing demand in the EB-3 category may necessitate additional measures such as establishing a cutoff date or retrogression. While that has not occurred this month, changes may be coming in the future for the EB-3 category as well.

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