After a disappointing visa bulletin release last month with no movement in priority dates, green card applicants are eager to see if any dates will advance in the upcoming October 2022 Visa Bulletin. Here’s what we can expect to see next month and for the future, particularly for EB2 and EB3 India.
First, let’s begin with the numbers. The Department of State estimates that the limit of employment-based green cards for fiscal year 2022 will reach a record high of 280,000 – the typical annual total limit is 140,000. As of June 30, 2022, a total of 176,281 employment-based visas have already been issued, leaving just over 100,000 remaining to settle by the end of fiscal year 2022.
While there is a staggering increase in the amount of visas in 2022, the USCIS and DOS have noted that they are processing employment-based green cards ahead of the fiscal year on September, 30, 2022. They also are aiming to process most of the i-485 applications filed by the first week of June 2022 ahead of the end of September 2022.
October 2022 Visa Bulletin Predictions
Due to patterns we have seen in the past, the USCIS typically tries to narrow the gap between India EB2 and EB3 priority dates. If this pattern continues, we likely will see no movement in dates for EB2 India, and a slight movement for EB3 India of 1 to 3 months.
Based on litigation filed to prevent green card wastage, the USCIS stated that July 2022 final action dates would still be current in September and October of 2022. This means that EB2 will likely not regress, since the final action date for July 2022 is December 14 for India EB2, and has not moved since.
If all goes well and the max number of green cards are used by September 2022, we may see that most people waiting for green cards with priority dates between 2011 and 2014 will be processed.
Possible Spillover From Family-Based Green Cards
Multiple sources are reporting that there could be some spillover from the family-based green card category to the employment-based category, roughly around 50,000. This would greatly benefit those who already have i-485 applications pending in both EB3 and EB3.
Predicting the results of the visa bulletins has been undeniably difficult in the past few months as we near the end of the fiscal year. We know that the USCIS is working diligently to process as many green card applications as they can, and hopefully we will see some positive movement from those efforts in the coming months.
Check back for the results and analysis of the October 2022 Visa Bulletin as soon as it is released!