A- STATUTORY NUMBERS
This Visa Bulletin January 2023 provides a summary of the immigrant numbers that are available in January. It includes information on “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications,” which tells applicants when they should get ready and submit the needed documents to the National Visa Center.
1- Consular officers need to provide the Department of State with documents from those who qualify for a limited number of visas. Meanwhile, USCIS needs to report the ones applying for an adjustment of status.
2- Each year, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets the minimum limit of family-sponsored preference immigrants at 226,000 and the employment-based preference immigrants at 140,000 worldwide. Under Section 202, the per-country preference limit is 7% of both the family-sponsored and employment-based limits, that is, 25,620. The dependent area limit stands at 2% which is 7,320.
3- Section 203(e) of INA outlines that for family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas, they should be allocated to eligible immigrants according to the order in which the relevant petitions were filed. Additionally, Section 203(d) grants spouses and children of preference immigrants the same status and a similar consideration when traveling with or joining the principal.
4-Under Section 203(a) of the INA, there are a set of preference classes that determine the allocation of Family-sponsored immigrant visas :
FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES :
First (F1) : Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens are set to receive 23,400 visas, with any additional numbers that aren’t needed for the fourth preference also added.
Second – (F2A) : 77% of the total second preference quota for Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents is exempt from the per-country limit, with 75% being the exact figure.
(F2B) : Unmarried adult children (21 years and up) of Permanent Residents can take up 23% of the total number of spots available in the second preference category.
Third (F3) : U.S. citizens who have married sons and daughters can receive up to 23,400 visas, plus any additional visas that aren’t used by first- and second-preference applicants.
Fourth (F4) : If you are a married son or daughter of a U.S. Citizen, you are eligible for up to 23,400 visas, in addition to any numbers that are not used by the first and second preferences.
The US Department of State recently released the Jan 2023 visa bulletin, an essential document for green card applicants waiting for their priority date to become current. An important document that gives them a fair idea of how much their applications have moved forward or otherwise.
First : 28.6% of the global employment-based preference level are designated as Priority Workers, with any remaining numbers allocated to the fourth and fifth preferences.
Second : Members with professional degrees or exceptional abilities, you make up 28.6% of the global employment preferences. Any numbers not taken up by first preference are yours too!
Third : Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers: No more than 10,000 “Other Workers” in addition to 28.6% of the global total may be selected, excluding first and second choices that are not needed.
Fourth : Special Immigrants: 7.1% of the worldwide .
Fifth : Employment Creation : 7.1% of those jobs are reserved for qualified immigrants who make strategic investments: 20% are reserved for immigrants who invest in rural areas, 10% are reserved for those making investments in areas of high unemployment, and 2% are set aside for infrastructure projects. The remaining 68% of job opportunities are open to all qualified immigrants.
B- DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY
Section 203(c) of the INA is offering 55,000 immigrant visas each year so people from countries with low immigration rates over the past five years can have more opportunities. To accommodate this, the NACARA states that 5,000 of the 55,000 visas will be made available for use with the NACARA program, beginning with DV-99. This means that for DV-2023, only around 54,850 visas will be available.
C-THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANK CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN FEBRUARY
For the month of February, we are pleased to offer qualified DV-2023 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries the opportunity to apply for immigrant numbers in the DV category. If an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas will be granted to those applicants who hold a DV regional lottery rank number.
D- VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE EMPLOYMENT FIRST CATEGORY FOR CHINA AND INDIA
We want to let readers know that, as per Item E of the December 2022 Visa Bulletin, we must put in place final action and application filing dates for China and India starting January to make sure that the FY-2023 annual limit is not exceeded. Those from China and India should take note of a final action date of 01FEB22 and an application filing date of 01JUN22. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and make any adjustments as needed.
E- EXPIRATION OF EMPLOYMENT FOURTH PREFERENCE CERTAIN RELIGIOUS WORKERS (SR) CATEGORY
The Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR) category was extended with the continuing resolution signed on December 16, 2022 and will end at midnight on December 22, 2022. All SR visas must be issued before this date and no final decisions can be taken on adjustment of status cases after this time. SR visas issued before the deadline will only be valid until December 22 and all individuals looking to gain admission in the non-minister special immigrant category must be admitted into the USA before this date.
The final action date for this category has been listed as “Unavailable” for January.
If there is a legislative extension for this category, it’ll become available straight away and the same final action dates will apply as for the other Employment Fourth Preference categories, depending on the country of chargeability.
F- THE LATEST INFORMATION ON VISA PROCESSING AT U.S. EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PLEASE VISIT THE BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS WEBSITE AT TRAVEL.STATE.GOV
The two key outcomes of the Jan 2022 visa bulletin are:
- There is good news for two crucial employment-based green card categories – EB2 and EB3 as we see no retrogression in the Jan bulletin, which was already turning into a phenomenon if we look at previous bulletins of the current financial year. However, no movement gives a grim outlook for the rest of the new year.
- EB1, another employment-based category, has been retrogressed for Indians with a final action date of Feb 1, 2022, and the application filing date of June 1, 2022.
View All Visa Bulletin January 2023 Information Details on below PDF