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This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh, Fredrikson Immigration Department Chair, is a member.

The Department of State (DOS) recently clarified the Final Action Date retrogression applicable to employment-based third preference (EB-3) visa applicants chargeable to India, effective with the July 2023 Visa Bulletin, and explained the reason for prorating India EB-3 visas.

DOS noted that the Final Action Date is the priority date of the first applicant for whom a visa number could not be immediately allocated. India is currently oversubscribed for immigrant visas in numerically limited immigrant visa categories. The annual limits will reset with the start of the new fiscal year (FY 2024) on October 1, 2023. The EB-3 Final Action Date for India "is expected to advance once the annual limits reset for FY 2024; however, the movement of this date throughout the fiscal year depends on various factors" such as visa demand and the employment-based annual limit, which DOS projects to be substantially lower than in FY 2023.

The Department of State's Visa Bulletin for July notes that due to high demand, retrogressions have been necessary for the employment-based third preference (EB-3) category for India, Mexico, Philippines and Rest of World. The Rest of World, Mexico and Philippines EB-3 final action dates have retrogressed to February 1, 2022. EB-3 applicants from India are subject to a final action date of January 1, 2009.

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