The USCIS recently provided detailed information about the employment-based adjustment of status cases that it has pending in its offices.
The USCIS stated that the DOS is allowed to issue out 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas (a.k.a. “green cards”) each year. The USCIS stated that 85% of those applications are processed through USCIS offices with the remaining 15% being processed by the DOS through the Consulates abroad. The USCIS stated that it currently has approximately 234,000 adjustment of status applications pending in its offices. This number does not include the
cases that are pending with the DOS. The USCIS stated that the amount of time that a foreign national will wait to complete the employment-based immigrant visa process will depend on the individual’s priority date, preference category and the country to which his/her visa will be charged (which is usually the individual’s country of birth).
Of the 140,000 available employment-based immigrant visas, 40,000 are allocated to the first preference category, 40,000 are allocated to the second preference category, 40,000 are allocated to the third preference category, 10,000 are allocated to the fourth preference category and 10,000 are allocated to the fifth preference category. No more than 7% of the available immigrant visas in each category may be used by nationals of each country.
In the second preference category, the USCIS stated that it has approximately 75,000 applications pending. Of the 75,000, approximately 19,000 were filed by Chinese nationals and approximately 48,000 were filed by Indian nationals.
In the third preference category, the USCIS indicated that it has approximately 151,000 applications pending. Of the 151,000 pending applications, approximately 6,300 were filed by Chinese nationals and approximately 63,000 were filed by Indian nationals.
The USCIS indicated that it can not predict when a foreign national will exactly be able to complete the employment-based immigrant visa process. However, it stated that it is providing information about the number of pending cases so that foreign nationals are more aware of the approximate number of individuals who have applications pending with the USCIS in each preference category.