The U.S. State Department estimates that roughly 200,000 employment-based immigrant visas (green cards) will be available in the upcoming fiscal year, officials said in a recently updated FAQ.

The 200,000 limit would be higher than in a typical pre-pandemic year but lower than in the previous two fiscal years. USCIS said the government remains committed “to using all the available employment-based visas in FY 2023.” The 2023 fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

The employment-based green card limit is calculated by adding the number of unused family-based green cards from the previous year to the annual baseline of 140,000 employment-based green cards. The limits have been high in the past two years because beginning in 2020, COVID-19 delays slowed down issuance of family-based green cards.

Fiscal Year Employment-based Green Card Limit
2018 140,292
2019 141,918
2020 156,253
2021 262,288
2022 281,507
2023 Roughly 200,000

BAL Analysis: While the State Department will make more green cards available than in a typical year, the limit will be lower than it has been in each of the past two fiscal years. Efforts by the State Department and USCIS to issue as many green cards as possible this year have garnered commendation; however, rapid forward movement in India EB-2 in the current fiscal year led to significant retrogression for October. The State Department said it would monitor the situation and make adjustments as necessary. BAL will provide updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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