Changes in February 2023 Visa Bulletin: EB-3, Other Workers
One of the key parts when preparing to file for a green card through a Form I-140 in the EB-3 category is knowing when you will be allowed to file for the green card. The U.S. Department of State Visa Bulletin is released every month and it determines the dates that applicants can file for adjustment of status or at consulate worldwide.
To file for adjustment of status in the EB-3 category (with a few exceptions), you must be in lawful nonimmigrant status and in the United States. The date the Labor Certification (ETA 9089) is filed with the Department of Labor is your “Priority Date” and this is the date you will use to review the Visa Bulletin and determine if you are able to file for your adjustment of status.
Due to increased usage in the EB-3 "Other Workers" category, for all countries, significant retrogressions will take effect in February 2023. With this change in the visa bulletin for EB-3 "Other" (unskilled) applicants, you must keep in mind the following scenarios:
1. Your Labor Certification (ETA 9089) is approved but Form I-485 has not been filed.
If your labor certification was filed before the date on the visa bulletin, you are eligible to file your Form I-485 now. You will also be eligible to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (or EAD) while the I-485 is pending.
2. Your I-485 application is pending and the Labor Certification (ETA 9089) was filed after the date shown on the visa bulletin.
You are impacted by the retrogression. You will still receive your EAD and you can work using the EAD. However, your Form I-485 will remain pending and a green card will not be issued until your priority date is current again on the visa bulletin.
3. Your I-485 application is pending and the Labor Certification (ETA 9089) was filed before the priority date shown on the visa bulletin.
You are not impacted by the retrogression. You will get your EAD and you can work using the EAD. Because your priority date is still current, your Form I-485 will continue to be processed normally.
4. You do not have a Labor Certification (ETA 9089) approved or filed yet (still pending or not filed yet).
If the EB-3 "Other Workers" category is still retrogressed by the time your labor certification is approved, you may only file your I-485 application when your priority date becomes current.
What should you do in the meantime?
It is important to make sure you maintain legal status during your EB-3 process if you are in the United States. You should be patient and contact our office to make sure that you are prepared to file your I-485 application once your priority date becomes current.
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