At ULS, we support our clients throughout their immigration process. We are closely watching the advancements in the Visa Bulletin for your workers, which generally falls under the EB3 Other Workers Employment-Based preference category. Starting on October 1, 2023, The EB3 Other Worker category advanced to December 15, 2020. This is a six month jump from where it was in September.
What does this mean?
Employees whose priority date is December 15, 2020 or earlier are eligible to file for a Green Card. Your priority date is established upon the filing of the PERM application. In other words, the PERM filing date is your priority date.
Why are there priority dates?
There are priority dates because there are more immigrant visa applicants than there are immigrant visas available each year. Congress establishes annual limits on the number of immigrant visas issued, currently at 140,000, aiming to regulate immigration numbers effectively. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) plays a crucial role in this process by publishing the monthly Visa Bulletin, which outlines cut-off dates governing visa availability. These cut-off dates determine when applicants become eligible to apply for permanent resident status, based on their priority dates.
Applicants affected by visa retrogression must wait until their priority date is current to file for a Green Card. Even though the Visa Bulletin seems like a far-off date compared to right now, you have to remember that it is a year and a half to two years between receiving your priority date and filing your Green Card application. Thus, the wait time will be much smaller by the time we are able to file for your workers’ Green Cards, giving your company enough time to bring your workers back on H-2B visas and to file for their Green Cards in the U.S.
For individuals facing visa retrogression, it is essential to remain informed and continue working with ULS and your H-2B agent to avoid further delays. Visa retrogression is a temporary obstacle in the immigration journey.
ULS will continue to track your priority date and immediately inform you when you will be eligible to file for your workers’ Green Cards. Stay tuned for more updates on the Visa Bulletin and other exciting topics.
Elliott S. Mason
President and General Counsel