For the millions of people waiting in line in the employment-based and family-based categories, visa bulletin predictions give them an idea of when they will be able to apply for and obtain green cards.
The government estimates that 200,000 green cards will be available to persons in the employment categories in Fiscal Year 2023, down from 281,000 in FY 2022, but 60,000 higher than the 140,000 mandated by law.
The declaration notes that all EB1 and EB2 immigrant visa numbers have been used for the current fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2022. Therefore, no more adjustment of status applications or immigrant visas filed in these categories will be approved until October 1, 2022.
Furthermore, all EB3 visa numbers for the current fiscal year are expected to be granted within the next few days. All EB4 visa numbers will used be before September 30.
The State Department Visa Bulletin October 2022 shows backlogs in getting green cards in both the family and the employment-based categories. The time that it will take you to get a green card depends on the category of your petition and your country of birth. The Visa Bulletin is updated on a monthly basis.
EB-2 India will retrogress to April 1, 2012 in the October Visa Bulletin, while EB-3 India will advance a few weeks to the same date.
Family-Based Categories – Visa Bulletin Predictions for November 2022
These visa bulletin predictions are estimates based on recent movement in the family-based categories and should not be relied upon as legal advice. They indicate how far forward the Final Action Dates may advance in the coming month.
F-1 – Unmarried Adult Sons & Daughters of US Citizens
• Mexico – 6 Weeks
• Philippines – 7 Weeks
• All Other Countries – 8 Weeks
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F-2A – Spouses & Minor, Unmarried Sons & Daughters of LPRs
• Mexico – Current
• All Other Countries – Current
F-2B – Unmarried Adult Sons & Daughters of LPRs
- Mexico – 5 Weeks
- Philippines – 5 Weeks
- All Other Countries – 5 Weeks
F-3 – Married Adult Sons & Daughters of US Citizens
- Mexico – 2 Weeks
- Philippines – 3 Weeks
- All Other Countries – 2 Weeks
F-4 – Brother & Sisters of US Citizens
- Mexico – 6 Weeks
- Philippines – 4 Weeks
- All Other Countries – 3 Weeks
NUMBERS FOR THE FAMILY-BASED PREFERENCE CATEGORIES
F1 Unmarried Adult Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.
F2 Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:
F2A Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;
F2B Unmarried Adult Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 23% of the overall second preference limitation.
F3 Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.
F4 Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.
Employment-Based Categories – Visa Bulletin Predictions for November 2022
These visa bulletin predictions are estimates based on recent movement in the employment-based categories and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
EB-1 Priority Workers
• All Countries – Current
EB-2 Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability
• India – 2 Weeks
• China – 3 Weeks
• All Other Countries – Current
EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers
• India – 1 Week
• China – 1 Week
• All Other Countries – Current
NUMBERS FOR THE EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CATEGORIES
EB-1 Priority Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.
EB-2 Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.
EB-3 Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to “*Other Workers”.
EB-4 Certain Special Immigrants: 7.1% of the worldwide level.
EB-5 Employment Creation: 7.1% of the worldwide level, of which 32% are reserved as follows: 20% reserved for qualified immigrants who invest in a rural area; 10% reserved for qualified immigrants who invest in a high unemployment area; and 2% reserved for qualified immigrants who invest in infrastructure projects. The remaining 68% are unreserved and are allotted for all other qualified immigrants.
The 7% Per-Country Cap
For the family and employment preference categories, the law imposes a limit on how many immigrants from any particular country can receive green cards in a given year. No country can receive more than 7% of the total number of EB and FB preference visas in a given year. There are no per-country limits for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens.
Because of the numerical caps and per-country caps on certain green-card categories, there are significant waits for some categories, with sharper effects on a few countries.
The wait for U.S. citizens to sponsor their brothers and sisters is more than 15 years for most parts of the world, but is 20 years for siblings from the Philippines and more than 22 years for those from Mexico.
There are millions of people waiting in line abroad for family-sponsored green cards. There are hundreds of thousands of people waiting employment-sponsored green cards. Most of these persons are residing in the US on temporary working visas. However, when their children turn 21 years old, many of them are no longer able to maintain lawful immigration status in the U.S. and risk becoming separated from their families.
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.