Department of State Releases September 2023 Visa Bulletin

Department of State Releases September 2023 Visa Bulletin
August 25, 2023

The Department of State recently issued the September 2023 Visa Bulletin. This bulletin reveals what employers can expect from the final month of the fiscal year. According to the State Department, most employment-based categories have held steady. However, EB-3 China and EB-2 Worldwide have seen significant changes.

In the September Visa Bulletin, the State Department confirmed the exact immigrant visa numerical allocations for the 2023 Fiscal Year. For the employment-based preference categories, this limit is 197,091. The Department further indicated expectations to reach most employment-based category limits for the fiscal year or the overall employment-based limit during September. After achieving the annual limit for a preference category, the Department will mark it “unavailable.” It will also refuse requests for visa numbers throughout the remaining duration of the fiscal year.

The Final Action Dates for filing visa applications for September have changed relatively little from the previous month. In addition, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) confirmed that it will use the Final Action Dates to determine eligibility to file an Adjustment of Status application. These dates are:

First Preference Category

  • EB-1 Final Action cut-off dates for all countries other than China and India will remain on August 1, 2023.
  • Final Action Cut-off dates for EB-1 India and China will remain at January 1, 2012, and February 1, 2022, respectively.

Second Preference Category

  • Except for China and India, the Final Action Cut-off dates for EB-2 will advance three months to July 1, 2022.
  • The Final Action dates for EB-2 India and China will remain on January 1, 2011, and July 8, 2019, respectively.

Third Preference Category

The EB-3 Final Action Dates for all countries, except India and China, will remain on May 1, 2020.

  • EB-3 Final Action Dates for India will remain on January 1, 2009.
  • For EB-3, China’s Final Action Dates will advance three months to September 1, 2019.

Though few changes occurred in the September Visa Bulletin, many expect more significant changes will happen in the October 2023 Visa Bulletin. This bulletin will mark the start of the new fiscal year, in which new visa allocations will be available for 2024.

While waiting for the visa bulletins, employers should recall that hiring foreign nationals still involves the employment eligibility verification (Form I-9) process. Employers must complete Form I-9s for all new hires, though hiring foreign nationals has proven challenging. This challenge is because they have a wide range of documentation to present as proof of their work authorization.

The best way to help ensure uniform compliance with every new hire is to integrate an electronic I-9 management system into the hiring process. This system can guide employers through every step and includes a suite of other features to help employers remain compliant.

Automate your employment eligibility verification today with the ensured compliance of I-9 Compliance.