On Friday, July 28, a bipartisan group of 58 lawmakers sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Department of State Secretary Antony Blinken encouraging the Biden administration to make all employment-based visas current on the Visa Bulletin on October 1, 2023.
The lawmakers make the following argument:
- On October 1, the first day of each government fiscal year, none of the available 140,000 employment-based green cards have been allocated yet for that fiscal year. Further, at the beginning of the year, it cannot be known how many of the people who either have already applied, or who will apply, for green cards will actually be eligible to receive a green card.
- If all eligible applicants who already have an approved employment-based Immigrant Petition (Form I-140) have the opportunity to submit an I-485 application for adjustment of status between October 1 – 31, of each fiscal year, the administration can ensure that it will have sufficient applicants to award each of the available green cards.
- Between FY 1992 and FY 2021, the federal government failed to issue at least 194,100 available employment-based green cards.
The letter cites the benefits of the US’ retention of highly skilled workers, predominantly advanced degree holders in the STEM fields, and the risks evident in the decades long backlogs and increased recruitment by Canada of foreign STEM talent.
Impact: If the Biden administration were to adjust the filing date to provide an earlier application date, it wouldn’t necessarily mean that individuals secure permanent residency sooner. However, it would allow those immigrants to have greater employment and travel flexibility while they way for their green cards.
Erickson Immigration Group will continue monitoring developments and sharing updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.