Good news for EB-2 (which includes EB2 NIW) in the upcoming January 2024 visa bulletin you can consult here. Dates move forward significantly and that means that applicants waiting to adjust status or complete their process from abroad using Consular Processing are getting closer to receiving their green cards.
Why is January an important month?
January is a significant month in the Visa Bulletin because it marks the start of a new quarter in the fiscal year for immigration agencies such as the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State. Starting this year, these agencies announced that the change in quarter would result in updates to the Visa Bulletin dates, because they are now working with quotas based on quarters, on top of the per country and category quotas.
The Visa Bulletin role in the EB2 NIW process
Visa bulletin, a monthly publication by State and USCIS, tells us how long are the (virtual) lines of applicants waiting for a green card. The Visa Bulletin informs applicants whether they can proceed with the adjustment of status (if already in the US) or schedule an embassy or consulate interview (if abroad). To interpret the tables in the visa bulletin, one must compare their priority date (PD) to the date shown in the table. If their date is earlier than the date shown in the visa bulletin, they may proceed to the next step in the process or finish it, depending on the table in question.
The January 2024 Visa Bulletin
The Visa Bulletin consists of two tables: Table A (Final Action Dates) and Table B (Dates for Filing). Table A is particularly important as it determines whether a visa number is available for an applicant. So, in other words, Table A always dictates if an applicant abroad or in the USA may finish their process and receive a green card. Let’s take a closer look at the changes in the January 2024 Visa Bulletin.
Table A: Final Action Dates
In Table A, all countries except India and China advance 4 months, from a date of July 2022 to November 2022. This is great news especially after a few months with no changes whatsoever.
China advances a little bit less than three months, to January 2020, and India moves two months forward, to March 2012. These two Asian countries are the ones that suffer from the biggest backlogs. This is one of the reasons why Indian and Chinese born petitioners may look at other options such as EB-1A green cards.
Table B: Dates for Filing
Regarding Table B, the January 2024 Visa Bulletin shows Rest of World (ROW) advancing one month, from January 2023 to February 2023. China and India remain with the same dates than in the December visa bulletin.
USCIS has announced that applicants in the US must use Table B to file adjustment of status. This is the best situation for adjustment of status applicants, as the dates in Table B are equal or later than those shown in Table A. This means that petitioners can file their I-485 packages before they are current in the Final Action Date table.