Below is a recap of what the October 2023 visa bulleting showed in terms of movement in all categories. It should be noted that this is the first visa bulletin for the new 2024 fiscal year.
A. FINAL ACTION DATES AND DATES FOR FILING FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES
Family based cases really held fairly steady this month. While there may have been a little movement forward in some areas, there is really nothing worth mentioning.
While we were hoping to see some forward movement in the F2A category (spouses and children of permanent residents) there really was not much. We are still hopeful that in the coming months there may be some additional movement in this category.
A. FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES
For the EB-1 Category (Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professor, etc.), the final action date came current for all countries EXCEPT: China (mainland) moved forward about two weeks to February 15, 2022 and India moved forward 5 years to January 1, 2017.
For the EB-2 Category (NIW, Master’s PERM cases), the final action date only moved forward about 1 week to July 8, 2022 for most countries (China moved forward to October 1, 2019 and India moved forward to January 1, 2012). We had initially thought that this date would move forward much quicker, but it appears that the Department of State is being a little more careful in its movements and is taking it slowly. Our hope is that this date keeps moving forward for most of the world. India and China may have some forward movement, but it is harder to say.
For the EB-3 Category (professional and skilled PERM) the final action date for most of the world moved forward almost 1.5 years to December 1, 2021 except for India (moved forward about 3 years to May 1, 2012) and China (moved forward about 4 months to January 1, 2020.
B. DATES FOR FILING OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISA APPLICATIONS
It is important to remember that the Dates for Filing fulfill two purposed. First, it is a date that USCIS MAY decide to use to allow those whose priority date is prior to the date listed to file an I-485 application despite the fact that no immigrant visa is available. Second, it is a way for the Department of State to show where they feel the Final Action Dates will be within the next six months. With that being said, lets look at where things stand.
For the EB-1 Category, most of the world is current. China is now at August 1, 2022, which shows that the DOS feels that there will be some forward movement over the next 6 months, but not that much. India, on the other hand, is now at July 1, 2019, so there may be some quicker forward movement for India.
For the EB-2 Category, most of the world is at January 1, 2023, which means that we could see some good forward movement very quickly in this category, however we will have to wait and see what usage looks like over the next couple of months to really know for sure. China is only about 3 months ahead of its final action date at January 1, 2020 and India is about 5 months ahead at May 15, 2012.
For the EB-3 category most of the world is at February 1, 2023, which shows that there will most likely be some strong forward movement somewhat quickly. Both India and China should see some moderate movements forward as their dates are August 1, 2012 and September 1, 2020 respectively.
Future Employment-Based Visa Availability for FY-2024:
Overall, there have been advancements in final action dates across most employment-based visa categories. These advancements reflect the availability of new visa numbers for FY-2024. However, the actual movement of dates will depend on visa demand and issuance patterns throughout the fiscal year - most especially the next two months.