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Current Green Card Priority Date for India for Employment-Based Permanent Residency, and Predictions

Updated: 4 days ago

This page details India's current Green Card Priority Date across EB1, EB2, EB3, EB4, and EB5 categories. Suppose you were born in India and your priority date on the I-797 notice for the I-140 application is earlier than the current date mentioned below. In that case, your I-485 application is ready to proceed to the final step of the Green Card process.


The U.S. Department of State releases a monthly visa bulletin, and the dates presented here reflect the regularly updated 'Date for Filing' and 'Final Action Date' per visa bulletin. You can bookmark ⭐ or share/ save this page for future reference.



Last updated on Jun 19, 2024: Based on the July 2024 Visa Bulletin published by the US Department of State.

Priority Date India

Current (Dates for Filing)

Current (Final Action Date)

EB1 Priority Date India

Feb 08, 2022

Feb 01, 2022

EB2 Priority Date India

Jun 22, 2012

Jun 15, 2012

EB3 Priority Date India

Oct 01, 2012

Sep 22, 2012

EB4 Priority Date India

Feb 01, 2021

Jan 01, 2021

EB5 Priority Date India

Apr 01, 2022

Dec 01, 2020

*** Refer to this for family-based green card priority dates.


Key Points

  • Typically, USCIS opts for 'Dates for Filing' to accept I-485 applications.


  • Dates for Filing: These are earlier dates, compared to the Final Action Date, that allow applicants to start the I-485 application process before their priority date becomes current.


  • Final Action Date: Indicates when green cards can be issued based on the priority date of the immigrant petition. The significance of this increases if USCIS determines to follow the 'Final Action Date' for I-485 processing (which rarely happens).



Table of Contents: Green Card Priority Date India



Current Green Card Backlog for India

The following chart shows the number of years of backlog for each employment-based green card category for India:


  • EB1 backlog for India ~2 years and 4 months

  • EB2 backlog for India ~11 years and 11 months

  • EB3 backlog for India ~11 years and 8 months

  • EB4 backlog for India ~3 years and 4 months

  • EB5 backlog for India ~2 years and 2 months



Note that backlog is only the difference between the current priority date and today. For example, for EB1, there is a 2-year and 4-month difference between the current priority date and today.


This does not mean that the priority date will become current in this time frame. Priority date movement depends upon several factors, which are explained in the next section.



Green Card Wait Time for India

To calculate the green card wait time for India in the employment-based categories (EB1, EB2, EB3, EB4, and EB5), or how priority dates will move, we need to understand three things:


  • India's Annual Limit: How many green cards can be issued annually for Indians under EB categories?


  • Spillovers: How does spillover from other categories affect the number of available visas?


  • Pending Applications: How many applications are pending?



Green Card Annual Cap

The U.S. issues 140,000 green cards annually across all employment-based (EB) categories. However, unused family-based green cards from the previous fiscal year are also added to employment-based green cards, and these additional numbers can sometimes make a huge difference.


For example, in FY 2022, from Oct 1, 2021, to Sept 30, 2022, the employment-based green card limit was 281,507 (more than double the typical limit of 140,000) due to unused family-sponsored visa numbers from FY 2021 being added to the employment-based limit for FY 2022. This was during COVID-19.


You can refer to the following table for the last 3 years of data for total employment-based green cards:

Fiscal Year

Total Employment-Based Green Cards

FY 2024

161,000

FY 2023

197,091

FY 2022

281,507


Green Card Annual Limit for India

For this calculation, let's use the standard limit of 140,000. With a 7% per-country cap, Indians can receive approximately 9,800 green cards annually. This limit applies to all employment-based categories (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4, and EB-5).


Further, each category has its limit; for example, EB1, EB2, and EB3 each have 28.6%, while EB4 and EB5 each have 7.1%.

Employment-based Category and Calculation

Number of Green Cards for India per year

EB1 Category (28.6%): EB1 = 0.286 × 9,800

2,803

EB2 Category (28.6%): EB2 = 0.286 × 9,800

2,803

EB3 Category (28.6%): EB3 = 0.286 × 9,800

2,803

EB4 Category (7.1%): EB4 = 0.071 × 9,800

696

EB5 Category (7.1%): EB5 = 0.071 × 9,800

696


Spillovers

  • Typically, unused green cards from the EB4 and EB5 categories spill over to the EB1 category, thus increasing the number available for EB1.


  • Additionally, unused family-based visas from the previous fiscal year are sometimes added to the employment-based visa annual limits, typically benefiting the EB1 category. As a result, the other EB categories rarely get a chance to utilize these additional visas.


  • In short, EB1 green cards are typically higher than the standard annual limit due to these spillovers.


Green card spillovers

We will use the standard limit of 140,000 for India's green card wait time prediction. Let's assume that due to the above spillovers, the maximum number of green cards that can be issued under EB1 is approximately 3,000 per year, EB2 and EB3 stay the same at ~2,803 as typically spillovers are consumed by EB1 itself, and the rest of the categories hardly get chance.


One thing to note is that the number of available visas can significantly impact these predictions. If the number of available visas exceeds the annual quota, then it depends on USCIS's capacity to process them promptly.


For example, if there are 5000 available visas for an employment-based category due to spillovers or other factors, USCIS can process more than 3000 visas, which exceeds the annual limit.


Pending I-485 Applications

USCIS publishes reports for these pending applications, you can find them on the USCIS website. In brief, the report provides an overview of the estimated volume of pending adjustment of status applications in the employment-based preference categories currently in the USCIS inventory.


Every application on the report with a priority date earlier than the given priority date is ahead in the queue for adjustment of status. I will go through each category individually to predict the wait time. Let's begin with the EB1 green card predictions for India.


EB1 Green Card Prediction for India

For India, EB1 category green cards will reach Dec 2022 priority dates in approximately 3.6 years assuming 3,000 visas are granted each year.


Calculation: Indians can receive ~3,000 green cards annually under the EB1 category. Now, according to the USCIS report, approximately 10,879 applications are pending between Feb 2022 and Dec 2022. Dividing these two will give you an EB1 green card prediction of ~3.6 years.


Note: In the latest report, the available visas for the EB1 category are 3,668, which means we should not worry about the annual limit of 3,000. Based on the USCIS work capacity, you might see the EB1 moving even faster, but here, we are trying to predict the worst-case scenario.

Description

Calculation/ Values

Current EB1 priority date for India (Final Action Date)

Feb 01, 2022

Available visas

3,668

Awaiting availability

12,785

Total applications until Dec 2022

16,453

Total applications until Feb 2022 (with pending background checks, RFEs, in-process, etc.)

5,574

Pending applications between Feb 2022 and Dec 2022

10,879

EB1 Green cards issued per year for India

~3,000

EB1 Prediction for India to reach the Dec 2022 priority date

10,879 / 3,000 = 3.6 years

After your EB1 priority date becomes current, you will need to file an I-485 application which is called adjustment of status if you are applying from within the US. This is the final step of green card processing.


The processing time for the I-485 will depend on your zip code and USCIS field office location, which you can find in the link provided.



The following chart shows how many EB1 applications are waiting for each month between 2020 and 2022. You can see there was a large increase in the number of EB1 applications filed in 2022.


Unfortunately, the EB1 applications for 2022 are huge, so it might take some time to move.



EB2 Green Card Prediction for India

For India, EB2 category green cards to reach Dec 2014 priority dates will take approximately 12.7 years, and to reach Dec 2013 it will take approximately 6.4 years.

Description

Calculation/ Values

Current EB2 priority date for India (Final Action Date)

Jun 15, 2012

Available visas

1,136

Awaiting availability

34,371

Pending applications until Dec 2013

17,951

Pending applications until Dec 2014

35,507

EB2 Green cards issued per year for India

2,803

EB2 Prediction for India to reach the Dec 2013 priority date

17,951 / 2,803 = 6.4 years

EB2 Prediction for India to reach the Dec 2014 priority date

35,507 / 2,803 = 12.7 years


Indians can receive a maximum of approximately 2,803 green cards annually under the EB2 category, typically with no spillovers to add as spillovers are mostly consumed by the EB1 category.


Now, if you refer to the USCIS report, approximately 35,507 applications are pending until Dec 2014. Dividing both will give you the EB2 prediction of ~12.7 years assuming there is no retrogression. With retrogression (backward movement), it's impossible to predict the wait time.


The following chart shows how many EB2 applications are waiting for each month between 2012 and 2014.




EB3 Green Card Prediction for India

For India, EB3 category green cards to reach Dec 2014 priority dates will take approximately 7 years, and to reach Dec 2013 it will take approximately 3.1 years.

Description

Calculation/ Values

Current EB3 priority date for India (Final Action Date)

Sep 22, 2012

Available visas

1,506

Awaiting availability

17,975

Pending applications until Dec 2013

8,645

Pending applications until Dec 2014

19,481

EB3 Green cards issued per year for India

2,803

EB3 Prediction for India to reach the Dec 2013 priority date

8,645 / 2,803 = 3.1 years

EB3 Prediction for India to reach the Dec 2014 priority date

19,481 / 2,803 = 7 years


Indians can receive a maximum of approximately 2,803 green cards annually under the EB3 category, typically with no spillovers here. Now, if you refer to the USCIS report, approximately 19,481 applications are pending until Dec 2014. Dividing both will give you an EB3 prediction of ~7 years.


EB3 predictions are currently more favorable, but as you know, EB2 applicants can downgrade to EB3, which will automatically balance out wait times over time.


The following chart shows how many EB3 applications are waiting for each month between 2012 and 2014.




FAQs on Green Card Priority Date India

What is an Employment-based (EB) Green Card?

An employment-based green card, officially known as an employment-based immigrant visa or EB visa, allows foreign nationals to live and work permanently in the United States.


These green cards are typically obtained through employer-sponsored immigration processes. There are several preference categories (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4, and EB-5), each with its eligibility criteria and requirements.


eb1 green card priority date india

EB1 Green Card (Priority Workers)

  • This category is for individuals with extraordinary abilities in their field (such as outstanding researchers, professors, multinational executives, managers, or individuals with exceptional abilities in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics).


  • 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for EB4 and EB5 preferences.



EB2 Green Card (Advanced Degrees and Exceptional Ability)

  • This category includes professionals with advanced degrees (or their equivalent) and individuals with exceptional ability in their field. Generally, a job offer and a labor certification are required, unless the individual qualifies for a National Interest Waiver (NIW).


  • 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by EB1 preference.


EB3 Green Card (Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers)

  • This category includes skilled workers (positions requiring at least two years of training or experience), professionals with a bachelor's degree, and other workers with less than two years of experience. Labor certification is generally required, and the employer must demonstrate that qualified U.S. workers are not available for the position.


  • 28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by EB1 and EB2 preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to "*Other Workers".



EB4 Green Card (Special Immigrants)

  • This category is for special immigrants, including religious workers, employees of certain international organizations, and certain individuals who have worked for the U.S. government abroad.


  • 7.1% of the worldwide level.



EB5 Green Card (Investors)

  • This category is for immigrant investors who make a qualifying investment in a new commercial enterprise that creates jobs in the US. The investment amount and job creation requirements vary depending on the location of the investment (Regional Center Program or Direct Investment).


  • 7.1% of the worldwide level, of which 32% are reserved as follows: 20% reserved for qualified immigrants who invest in a rural area; 10% reserved for qualified immigrants who invest in a high unemployment area; and 2% reserved for qualified immigrants who invest in infrastructure projects. The remaining 68% are unreserved and are allotted for all other qualified immigrants.



What is the Green Card Priority Date?

When you submit an immigration petition or green card I-140 application, USCIS assigns a date to your submission. This date is known as your priority date. You can find this date on the I-797 receipt/approval notice. Note that the received date and priority date are two different things. The priority date is essential because it determines your place in line for green card processing.


For example, if you're applying for an employment-based green card, there might be a limited number of green cards available each year. Your priority date establishes when you expressed your intent to immigrate, and it helps determine when you'll be eligible to move forward in the immigration process. The government processes cases in the order of their priority dates, with earlier dates getting priority.


Dates of Filing vs Final Action Date

The "Final Action Date" is a term used by the U.S. Department of State, specifically in the visa bulletin chart which is published every month. In simple terms, the final action date is the cutoff date that determines when immigrant visas (green cards) can be finally issued to the applicants.


  • Priority Date: When you submit a green card I-140 application, a priority date is assigned. This date signifies when you expressed your intent to immigrate.


  • Dates for Filing: Applicants can file the I-485 application when their priority date is current according to the Dates for Filing. This provides you with an earlier opportunity to begin the I-485 process.


  • Final Action Date: The Visa Bulletin contains charts with final action dates for different categories and countries. These dates are essentially waiting periods. If your priority date is earlier than the final action date listed in the Visa Bulletin for your category and country, it means that a visa is available, and you can proceed with the final steps of your immigration process.


  • Every month, USCIS determines which date to follow. Most of the time, they go with the "Dates for Filing."



How much time after the priority date is current?

You have one year after your priority date becomes current to proceed with the next steps in the green card application process.


If you don't apply within this timeframe, it may be perceived as though you have opted not to pursue the green card, and the next person in the queue may be given the opportunity. Therefore, it is advisable to regularly check for updates on the current green card priority date.



My green card priority date is current now what?

Once your priority date is current, that means your wait time is over, and you can move forward with the next steps in the green card application process.


Depending on your current address and eligibility for adjustment of status or consular processing, you will be filing one of the following:


  • USCIS processing, Form I-485, also called adjustment of status if the current address is within the US.

  • NVC processing, Form DS-260, also called consular processing if the current address is outside the US.


Once the priority date becomes current how long to get a green card?

For employment-based green cards (adjustment of status or consular processing), the processing time for 80% of cases is between 9 and 12 months.



How long to get a green card under EB2 or EB3 category (India)?

About 13 to 16 years. There are multiple steps involved in green card processing, and the processing time for each step can fluctuate depending on several factors. Here is a rough timeline you can expect:


  • PERM: ~ 6 to 9 months

  • Form I-140: ~ 6 to 9 months (without premium processing)

  • Wait time for priority date ~ 10 to 13 years

  • USCIS/ NVC processing ~ 9 to 12 months



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7 Kommentare


Amit Bishnoi
Amit Bishnoi
4 days ago

Hi Hina!


Thanks for putting together this article. Do you happen to have clarity into EB-1C GC process? And what's the current priority date as well as wait time for let's say the priority date to move from Jan 2021 to Dec 2021? How GC allotment basically works for EB-1C and how fast the priority date is progressing?


Thanks

Amit

Gefällt mir
Hina Singh
Hina Singh
3 days ago
Antwort an

The link you shared is old; it refers to the May 2024 visa bulletin. Please refer to the July 2024 bulletin. This blog is updated frequently based on USCIS's latest dates and data.


I have explained the final action date in the article, but in short, these dates determine if you can apply for adjustment of status. Generally, USCIS uses the Date for Filing, which is even a few months earlier.


Yes, if you switch from EB2 to EB1, your priority date from EB2 is still secured. If it's current, you can file for adjustment of status.


I didn't understand your last question properly, but there will be no green card shortage. If your priority date is 2021 and the…

Gefällt mir

For EB1 India, I wanted to point that the current data shows it 16K pending until Dec 2022 but it also says Visa available for 10K case, but I am not sure how does it translates into processing the cases.

Gefällt mir
Antwort an

Thanks for responding, and I agree the key callout is that from the available for EB1 are approximately ~10,998, how does the allocation really works!

Gefällt mir

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