DOS released the March 2023 Visa Bulletin a couple days ago and has indicated that new possible backlogs could be down the road and also appeared to remove some possible backlogs as well.
First, last month the Department of State indicated that the Family Based 2A category (spouses and minor children of Permanent Residents) had the possibility of backlogging as soon as this month. Well, this month came, and it did not backlog. In addition, this month, there was no indication that the category is in trouble of backlogging in the future. This would lead me to believe that this category should stay current for the foreseeable future.
Second, as we reported previously, the Employment-Based Second Category (which includes employer-sponsored applications for those with a Master’s Degree or higher as well as National Interest Waiver applications) is backlogged for all countries and has been so since December 2022. In this month’s bulletin, the DOS states as follows:
Since December 2022, there has been higher than expected number use and demand, mostly due to continued new filings by applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than the established final action dates. This will necessitate corrective action in the coming months to hold number use within the maximum allowed under the Fiscal Year 2023 annual limit. This situation will be continually monitored, and any necessary adjustments will be made accordingly.
This means there is now little hope of the EB-2 category coming current or moving forward until at least October 1, 2023, when the new government fiscal year begins.
Third, the DOS is now indicating that the Employment-Based Third category (employer-sponsored cases for those positions that require a Bachelor’s degree, two years of experience, or are considered unskilled labor) may become backlogged in the near future. The DOS stated:
Increased demand in the Employment Third category may necessitate the establishment of a worldwide final action date (including Mexico and Philippines) in the coming months to hold number use within the maximum allowed under the Fiscal Year 2023 annual limit. This situation will be continually monitored, and any necessary adjustments will be made accordingly.
Other than the above, most categories did not have any changes in terms of dates. The only exceptions are Employment-Based Category 4 (special immigrants and religious workers) and the Employment-Based 5th preference for India (Investment green card) – which backlogged almost another year.
Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.