August 2023 Visa Bulletin Brings Continued Significant Retrogression for Multiple Employment-Based Categories
Wednesday, July 19, 2023

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs’ August 2023 Visa Bulletin illustrates a continued trend of significant backlogs in the employment-based immigrant visa process.

Quick Hits

  • The EB-1 final action date for India will significantly retrogress, from February 1, 2022, to January 1, 2012.

  • The EB-1 final action date for Rest of World countries, Mexico, and the Philippines will now see a cutoff date imposed, August 1, 2023.

  • The EB-3 final action date for Rest of World countries, Mexico, and the Philippines will retrogress from February 1, 2022, to May 1, 2020.

For August 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that the Final Action Dates chart must be used in determining eligibility for filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The August 2023 Visa Bulletin continues the recent trend of worsening retrogressions and slowdowns impacting nearly all employment-based immigrant visa categories.

August 2023 Visa Bulletin Chart

Source: U.S. Department of State, August 2023 Visa Bulletin

The latest Visa Bulletin cautions that the EB-1 preference category for India will remain retrogressed until at least October 2023, when the government’s new fiscal year begins. The State Department predicts that in October the final action date for the EB-1 preference category for India should advance to at least February 1, 2022, the date listed in the July 2023 Visa Bulletin.

Furthermore, the State Department also notes that the final action date for the EB-1 preference category for Rest of World countries, Mexico, and the Philippines will likely return to “Current” in October 2023.

Lastly, the State Department explains that the substantial retrogression of the EB-3 final action date for Rest of World countries, Mexico, and the Philippines is the result of higher-than-expected demand, and that this category’s retrogression will need to remain monitored over time. The State Department has not provided predictive guidance as to when this category will advance or return to its previous cutoff date.

Next Steps

Stakeholders planning to file adjustment of status applications based on the EB-1 preference category (for foreign nationals born in any country other than China) may want to consider prioritizing those filings as substantial retrogression will occur, effective August 1, 2023. Stakeholders may also want to consider prioritizing adjustment of status filings for the many foreign nationals who will be impacted by the significant retrogression in the EB-3 category for Rest of World countries, Mexico, and the Philippines.

 

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