The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has stated that the annual limit for employment-based immigrant visas for the fiscal year 2022 (FY2022) is roughly twice as high as average years. This significant increase is primarily due to the closures and reduced capacities of many consulates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The USCIS plans to use as many visas as possible before the fiscal year’s end on September 30th, 2022. The USCIS explained in 2021 that the annual limit for employment-based visas was 262,288. This limit is just shy of double the standard limit. The USCIS and Department of State (DOS) split the use of these visas, with the DOS using 19,779 and the USCIS using 175,728. These numbers show that the agency used over 52% more visas before the pandemic. Unfortunately, 66,781 visas remained unused for the fiscal year 2021.
For FY2022, the stakes are even higher for maximizing the use of these visa numbers. There are 281,507 employment-based visas on the line due to the number of family-based immigrant visa numbers, which went unused during the last fiscal year. As a result, these available visas will get added to the employment-based immigrant visa allotment for this fiscal year.
According to preliminary data for FY2022, through July 31st of this year, both agencies have managed to use 210,593 employment-based immigrant visas. In the week ending August 14th, 2022, USCIS reportedly approved more than 10,000 applications for adjustment of status. The agency reports that the DOS has followed suit with a high visa issuance rate.
The USCIS has urged those with an approved petition and available visa who did not attach a valid Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, to visit a civil surgeon and keep a valid Form I-693 ready when the agency requests it. Following these instructions will help avoid unnecessary delays that slow the processing of the application. However, USCIS has also noted that these forms should not be sent unsolicited.
Businesses with a candidate whose employment-based visa is approved must complete the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) for their employees. This process can be confusing due to frequently changing regulations and guidelines. However, an electronic I-9 management system can make the process much easier by guiding you through every step. These systems also safely store the forms and documentation for easy retrieval.
Our I-9 Compliance tool will help quickly verify your employment eligibility automatically.