October Visa Bulletin Reveals Significant Retrogression In EB-2 India

Significant Retrogression
September 28, 2022

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently released its Visa Bulletin for October 2022. The release shows considerable retrogression for employment-based visas in the second preference category (EB-2) for Indian applicants. Specifically, the bulletin revealed that the EB-2 India category would retrogress for over two years.

According to the Visa Bulletin released by the DOS, the considerable retrogression happened because of faster-than-normal cut-off dates. These cut-off dates occurred through the fiscal year 2022 and used the historically high 281,507 employment-based immigrant visa numbers available for the year. This usage reportedly prompted a significant increase in demand for applications in the EB-2 India category.

This retrogression means increased demand for this category and a sudden reduction in available employment-based visas for the upcoming fiscal year. As a result, a significant reversal proved necessary to stay within the maximum annual limits on visa use for the 2023 fiscal year.

Similarly, the DOS reported a substantial increase in demand among the China EB-5 Unreserved visa category. The China EB-5 Unreserved visa category faces a similar issue of high demand and reduced available employment-based visas for the next fiscal year. Due to this, significant retrogression became necessary in the China EB-5 Unreserved category, including a final action cut-off date of December 8th, 2019, on the EB-5 Unreserved category.

Furthermore, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently confirmed that it used all available EB-2 and EB-3 visas for FY 2022 for all countries of chargeability. As a result, USCIS has nearly exhausted the supply of employment-based visas for FY 2022. It expects to have completely exhausted the pool by the end of the Fiscal Year on September 30th, 2022.

In addition, USCIS announced it is shifting to accept applications for adjustment of status based on the Dates for Filing Chart instead of the Final Action Dates Chart. This change did not come as a surprise. The USCIS often uses the former chart at the start of the fiscal year when visa numbers are high due to its more generous timeframe.

For employers sponsoring foreign national workers, the paperwork requirements can be challenging. Nowhere is this truer than the ubiquitous employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9). Unfortunately, Form I-9 is continuously shifting, and the documentation requirements have become a minefield for litigation for many employers. The best way to help ensure your business remains compliant is with an electronic I-9 management system. This system can guide hiring personnel throughout the process and ensure that documentation and forms stay secure and on hand for review and updates.

Our I-9 Compliance tool will help quickly verify your employment eligibility automatically.