December 2022 Visa Bulletin: India EB-2 Retrogresses Again

The December 2022 Visa Bulletin has been released, and the biggest takeaway is the moderate retrogression in the India EB2 category. Let’s examine the results of the visa bulletin and dive deeper into the reasons behind the retrogression and what we can expect for the future. 

December 2022 Visa Bulletin Results

Family-Based

Final Action Dates

December 2022 Visa Bulletin: India EB-2 Retrogresses Again

Dates for Filing Applications

December 2022 Visa Bulletin: India EB-2 Retrogresses Again

Employment-Based

Final Action Dates

December 2022 Visa Bulletin: India EB-2 Retrogresses Again

Dates for Filing Applications

December 2022 Visa Bulletin: India EB-2 Retrogresses Again

Notable Priority Date Changes

Under the family-based categories:

Final Action Dates

  • The priority date for Mexico under the F3 category retrogressed by 14 days, bringing the new date to November 1, 1997.

Dates for Filing Applications

  • No changes in dates for filing applications.

Under the employment-based categories:

Final Action Dates

  • India EB2 has retrogressed by 5 months and 24 days, bringing the new priority date to October 8, 2011.
  • India EB3 has advanced by 2 months and 14 days, bringing the new priority date to June 15, 2012. 
  • China EB3 has advanced by a month and 16 days, bringing the new priority date to August 1, 2018. 
  • ROW, China, India, and the Philippines for EB4 have retrogressed by 4 months and 9 days, bringing their new priority dates to June 22, 2022. 

Dates for Filing Applications

  • ROW, Mexico, and Philippines EB2 advanced by 1 month, bringing their new priority dates to December 1, 2022. 
  • China EB3 advanced by 1 month and 17 days, bringing the new priority date to September 1, 2018.
  • India EB3 advanced by 1 month, bringing the new priority date to August 1, 2012.
  • ROW, China, India, and Philippines EB4 retrogressed by 3 months and 10 days, bringing the new priority date to July 22, 2022. 

India EB2 Retrogresses Even Further

The December 2022 Visa Bulletin has revealed that the priority dates for the India EB2 category have retrogressed even further, by over 5 months. This brings the priority date back to October of 2011, which falls behind where the priority date was back in December of 2021.

This is a surprising revelation, considering that in October’s 2022 Visa Bulletin, the India EB2 priority date retrogressed by more than 2 years and 8 months. Many experts were not expecting India EB2 to retrogress quite this much again before 2023. 

The USCIS describes in the visa bulletin that due to the lower amount of visas available for India EB2 for FY 2023 and the extremely high demand in this category, they took action in October 2022 by retrogressing the priority date in this category significantly. 

However, after reevaluating, they have received an even higher than expected level of demand of EB1 and EB2 categories this year for other countries, which means that there will be even fewer additional numbers available to rollover to India in the EB2 category. This is why the USCIS needed to push back the priority date even further for December’s 2022 Visa Bulletin.

Family-based Spillover Numbers for FY 2023

The USCIS reports that for FY 2022, there were a total of 57,000 unused family-based visas, which will spillover into the employment-based category. This will bring the new estimated employment-based annual limit for FY 2023 to 197,000.

EB1 for China and India May Lose ‘Current’ Status

The USCIS reports that due to the increased demand and number use in the EB1 category for both China and India, along with the decreased number of available visas in FY 2023, they will most likely establish a final action date and date for filing applications in the coming months, meaning these categories will no longer be current. 

Worldwide EB2 Final Action Dates and Dates for Filing Applications

As discussed in the November 2022 Visa Bulletin, the USCIS included a note detailing the increased demand for visas in the employment second category and explained that a worldwide final action date may be established to address this issue. The USCIS has found that this has in fact become necessary, and has established worldwide employment-based second category final action dates and application filing dates effective December 2022 to ensure that they are holding number use within the maximum allowed for 2023.

Except for China and India, all countries are subject to a final action date of November 1, 2022, and an application filing date of December 1, 2022.

Worldwide EB4 Final Action Dates and Dates for Filing Applications

Similar to the increased demand and need for a worldwide final action date for EB2, the EB4 category is in the same boat. Due to high demand in the EB4 category, the USCIS has established a worldwide final action date and application filing date for December 2022.

Except for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, all countries are subject to a final action date of June 22, 2022, and an application filing date of July 22, 2022.

What to Expect for the January 2023 Visa Bulletin and Beyond

After a complete analysis of the December 2022 Visa Bulletin, it is clear that the demand for employment-based visas is greater than it has ever been. The high demand is causing the backlog to grow and is pushing priority dates even further back. This is especially true for the India EB2 category. Furthermore, the higher demand in the employment categories for countries that usually wouldn’t have as high of a demand is decreasing the extra visas available for other high demand countries, such as India. 

The 5 month retrogression in India EB2, according to the USCIS, is a correction on their part from October’s visa bulletin. Due to the unexpected high demand in the employment based category in other countries, there is not going to be much spillover into the India EB2 category, which is why the priority date has been pushed back even further. Due to this correction, it is doubtful that the priority date will retrogress even further in January 2023, but any movement in the category is very unlikely for the next coming months. 

India EB3 did advance slightly, which is good news. Hopefully, this category will continue to move forward, if only at least a month or two each visa bulletin. There are no obvious signs that this category will see any retrogression in the near future.

Check back soon for our full January 2023 visa bulletin predictions article in the coming weeks for a more detailed look at what we believe is to come for priority dates in the new year.

Visit the December 2022 Visa Bulletin release for more information.