Helping International Healthcare Professionals Fulfill Their American Dream
The Visa Bulletin for October 2023 is out. The EB-3 priority dates for the Philippines and ROW have been retrogressed 1 year and 9 months. China is retrogressed 3 years and 8 months and India is retrogressed 11 years and 4 months.
NOW is the opportune time to pass the NCLEX-RN licensure exam and an approved English language proficiency exam if you have not done so already.
Here are some other notable items from the bulletin:
EB-3 dates for the Philippines: December 1, 2021
EB-3s for various countries that are not India or China: December 1, 2021
EB-3s for India: May 1, 2012
EB-3s for China: January 1, 2020
The United States regulates immigration by capping the number of foreign nationals welcomed into the country each year. Each person must have his/her own personal immigrant visa number in order to live permanently in the United States. A foreign national can seek an Immigrant Visa at a U.S. Consulate outside the U.S., or file for an Adjustment of Status with USCIS inside the U.S.
The Visa Bulletin covers both family- and employment-based visas. However, Health Carousel International only files for employment-based visas (EB-3) for our qualified healthcare professionals — namely nurses.
PRIORITY DATE – Priority date is a United States immigration concept – it is the date when a principal applicant first reveals his intent of immigration to the US government. For employment-based, such as EB-3, immigration beneficiaries, the priority date is the date an immigration petition is filed at USCIS, under categories where a labor certification is not required (Schedule A occupation including nurses), or when the United States Department of Labor receives a labor certification application, under categories where a labor certification is required. In all cases, the priority dates are not established until USCIS approves the immigration petition. The date establishes one’s place in the queue permanent residency permit (also known as “green card”) application.
The monthly Visa Bulletin lists cut-off dates for different immigration categories and countries of birth. Only those intending applicants with priority dates before the cut-off date are permitted to file their Adjustment of Status (AOS) applications or attend immigrant visa interviews at consulates. The cut-off dates generally move forward over time as old cases are approved or abandoned.
However, in certain cases, such as if a large number of old cases work their way through the system at about the same time, the cut-off dates can actually retrogress (or roll back). If an individual already has a pending AOS application on file when a retrogression occurs that places the cut-off earlier than the applicant’s priority date, USCIS sets the application aside and will not review it until the priority date is current again.
For individuals starting the employment-based green card process now, country of chargeability and job requirements are paramount in determining how long the overall process will take. Individuals from countries of chargeability other than China or India with jobs requiring a master’s degree can complete the entire process, from labor certification to receiving the green card, within approximately 1-2 years from start to finish, if there is no backlog of visa availability, i.e., all priority dates are current. Workers whose immigrant visas are chargeable to China or India with jobs requiring only a bachelor’s degree can expect to wait several years after their employer files the labor certification and immigrant visa petition to become eligible to file the final application for the green card itself.
Only a limited number of immigrant visas are available in each category. Immigrant Visas are also limited by the country of chargeability, which is normally the country where the immigrant is born.