News & Insights

USCIS Expected To Use All Available Employment Based Green Cards This Fiscal Year

Last year USCIS came under heavy criticism for failing to issue all available employment-based green cards.  Due to the pandemic, most Consulates were closed or operating at a reduced capacity which meant that unused family-based visas rolled over into the employment-based green cards.  This was great news.

Typically, there are 140,000 employment-based green cards available each fiscal year.  Last year there were roughly 262,000 employment-based green cards available.  However, USCIS was unable to adjudicate cases fast enough, largely due to staffing problems, caused mainly by the pandemic.   As a result, approximately 66,500 went to waste.  This was not great news.

This year USCIS was faced with the same challenge.  There were approximately 280,000 employment-based green cards up for grabs.  Many feared that the additional green cards would again fall by the wayside.  However, in the recently released September visa bulletin USCIS has confirmed that they anticipate issuing all available green cards in the month of September.

The visa bulletin included the following statement:

  1. AVAILABILITY OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISAS DURING SEPTEMBER

There has been a steady increase in both USCIS and Department of State demand patterns for employment-based visas during the fiscal year. As a result, most employment-based preference category limits and/or the overall employment-based preference limit for FY 2022 are expected to be reached during September. If at any time an annual limit was reached, it would be necessary to immediately make the preference category “unavailable”, and no further requests for numbers would be honored. 

While it is not yet known how many additional employment-based visas will be available for the next fiscal year, given that the Consulates are still not operating at full capacity, it is expected that there will be an additional allotment.

The September visa bulletin saw no advancements in dates across the board.  As with the start of every fiscal year, we expect advancements in both EB-2 and EB-3, especially for India.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please e-mail PLG Partner Chris Prescott at cprescott@patellegal.com.

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