The March 2023 Visa Bulletin has been released, which unfortunately brings another month of disappointment. Only a few priority dates have advanced in smaller categories, and the 4th category of the employment-based preference has retrogressed across the board for all countries.
The USCIS also included additional information in the bulletin that is likely foreshadowing more retorgression in the employment-based second and third categories in coming months.
Let’s take a closer look at the new priority dates for March 2023 and what changes we have observed.
March 2023 Visa Bulletin Results
Final Action Date
Date of Filing Application
Final Action Date
Date of Filing Application
March 2023 Visa Bulletin Priority Date Changes
- China’s employment-based final action date in the Other Workers category advanced from December 11, 2013 to July 1, 2014
- China EB5 advanced from March 22, 2015 to July 8, 2015
- Employment-based final action dates for EB4 and Certain Religious Workers retrogressed for the following countries:
- ROW – June 22, 2022 to February 1, 2022
- China – June 22, 2022 to February 1, 2022
- India – June 22, 2022 to March 1, 2021
- Mexico – September 15, 2020 to August 1, 2020
- Philippines – June 22, 2022 to February 1, 2022
- Employment-based final action dates for EB5 retrogressed for the following countries:
- India – November 8, 2019 to June 1, 2018
- Employment-based dates for filing for EB4 and Certain Religious Workers retrogressed for the following countries:
- ROW – July 22, 2022 to March 1, 2022
- China – July 22, 2022 to March 1, 2022
- India – July 22, 2022 to April 1, 2021
- Mexico – October 15, 2020 to September 1, 2020
- Philippines – July 22, 2022 to March 1, 2022
There were no changes at all in the family-based preference. India saw the largest retrogression for priority dates in the EB4 and Certain Religious Workers categories, as well as the only retrogression for the EB5 category.
March 2023 Visa Bulletin Analysis
The March 2023 Visa Bulletin brings nothing but more retrogressions and no movement for key categories and preferences, including India EB2 and EB3. It is concerning that no movement has been made for any family-based category, and just a few small advancements for some of China’s smaller categories. What can we expect moving forward in the year?
The USCIS did include additional information regarding the new retrogressions and lack of movement in priority dates for March, which may provide some insight.
EB2 Visa Availability for All Countries
The USCIS reports that since December 2022, there has been a much higher than expected number use and demand for visas due to many new filings by applicants in all countries, including those with priority dates earlier than the established final action dates. In the coming months, corrective action will need to be taken by the USCIS to ensure that they are not going over their visa numbers.
This news is more than likely foreshadowing that retrogressions are coming for the employment-based second category across the board.
EB3 Visa Availability
The USCIS also mentions that there is an increase in demand in the employment-based third category, which has been a known issue since last calendar year. They are contemplating establishing a worldwide final action date, including Mexico and the Philippines, in the next few months in order to avoid going over their visa limit in the category.
This indicates that retrogresssion in the EB3 category in the next few months is very likely.
Why EB4 Retrogressed Further
The December 2022 Visa Bulletin saw the establishment of a final action date and date for filing applications for ROW, China, India, and the Philippines due to higher demand in this category. The USCIS reports that this demand has continued to increase since, which is why they needed to retrogress those dates even further back.
More Retrogression for India EB5
Back in October 2022, the USCIS established a final action date and date for filing applications for India EB5 due to high numbers of applications. The demand for this category for India has continued to increase, thus the date had to be pushed back even further so as to not go over their use limit.
To view the March 2023 Visa Bulletin, visit the USCIS release on the Travel.State.Gov website. Check back soon for our predictions for the April 2023 Visa Bulletin!