Tuesday, July 18, 2023


The retrogression cut-off in the EB3 category pushed back priority dates to 2020.  While a retrogression is never great news, this retrogression is not as dramatic as it might seem at first look.  Our sense is that when the October 2023 visa bulletin is published, it will show an EB-3 (non-India and non-China) with a mid-2022 priority date.  However, because the Department of State is not forthcoming with their demand and usage data, please assume large error bars around our projection.

A significant retrogression of priority dates is common nearly every summer.  Visa numbers began to run out toward September 30, which is the end of the fiscal year.  The DOS is trying to use the last of the 140,000 annual employment-based visas in September.  (Note- in some years the employment-based visa quota is greater than 140,000).  While the DOS could theoretically release all 140,000 immigrant visas on October 1 every year, they do not do this so that there is a steady stream of immigrant visas throughout the year.

In October an additional 140,000 EB visas will be allocated, which is why we expect the dates to progress again.  Again, it is difficult to be too precise with an October 2023 EB-3 projection because we do not know too much about the DOS’ demand and usage data.

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