January 2023 Visa Bulletin Predictions

Following a disappointing Visa Bulletin release for December 2022, those patiently waiting for their chance at a green card are eager to see forward progress in priority dates in FY 2023. There are quite a few factors to consider when thinking about what we can expect to see in the January 2023 Visa Bulletin, including spillover green cards from family-based categories, the increased demand for employment-based green cards worldwide, and more. Let’s take a deeper look at what we predict will happen in the first Visa Bulletin of 2023. 

In our December 2022 Visa Bulletin analysis article, we discussed a few key announcements that were made by USCIS regarding the moderate retrogression in the India EB2 category and spillover numbers. The preliminary numbers reported by the USCIS for FY 2022 showed that 57,000 unused family-based visas would be available for the employment-based category, bringing the total estimated employment-based annual limit to 197,000 for FY 2023. 

As for where the additional 57,000 will be used, they are divided between the five employment-based categories based on fixed percentages.

Those percentages are:

  • EB1, EB2, and EB3 – 28.6% of overall limit
  • EB4 and EB5 – 7.1% of overall limit

The additional numbers are added to the employment-based limit at the start of the year.

What does this mean for India EB2 and EB3?

The USCIS reports that due to the higher than expected level of demand in EB1 and EB2 worldwide, fewer additional visa numbers will be available for India EB2, hence the retrogressions in the last few months.

In 2023, the USCIS estimates that the India EB2 category will only receive a total of 4,000 green cards. This is concerning considering that there are currently about 40,000 i-485 applications pending in the India EB2 category. For EB3, it is estimated that there are 25,000 i-485 applications pending from 2012 to 2014.

Can we expect any movement in India EB2 for January 2023?

At this point in time, it doesn’t appear that the priority date for India EB2 category will make any movement in the January 2023 Visa Bulletin. Certainly, we don’t believe that it will retrogress any further. However, no progress forward is expected either. As for India’s EB3 category, we could very likely see it move ahead slightly, possibly into July 2012. 

When will the January 2023 Visa Bulletin be released?

We will likely see the January 2023 Visa Bulletin go live around December 14, 2022. 

As soon as the January 2023 Visa Bulletin goes live, check back on path2usa.com for a full review and analysis of the new priority dates.

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