The Department of State’s (DOS) Visa Bulletin for October 2022, the first month of the new fiscal year, includes several updates:
- Scheduled expiration of employment fourth preference (SR) Religious Workers category. Unless Congress extends this category, no SR visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after midnight September 29, 2022. Visas issued before that date will be valid only until that date, and all individuals seeking admission in the non-minister special immigrant category must be admitted into the United States by midnight September 29, 2022.
- Retrogression of China-mainland born final action date and imposition of India final action date in the employment-based fifth preference unreserved categories (including C5, T5, I5, and R5). The final action date for the China-mainland born EB-5 unreserved categories for immigrant investors will retrogress in October due to heavy demand for numbers. Also, due to India demand, a final action date for October will be imposed in the EB-5 unreserved categories.
- Retrogression of India employment second preference (EB-2) final action and application filing dates for October. Rapid forward movements of the India EB-2 final action and application filing dates during FY 2022 were made to maximize number use under the unprecedented high employment limit of 281,507. As a result, heavy applicant demand has materialized. Coupled with significantly lower visa number availability for India EB-2 for FY 2023 as compared with FY 2022, DOS said corrective action was required to keep number use within the maximum allowed under the FY 2023 annual limits.
- Visa availability in the employment fourth category. High demand in this category may necessitate the establishment of a worldwide final action date in the coming months, DOS said.