USA Green Card

280,000 US Green Cards to be Issued by September 30, 2022

Published on : July 18, 2022

280,000 employment-based US Green Cards are to be issued by September 30, 2022. This is double the typical annual total of 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas.

Recently, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced - via Twitter on July 9, 2022 - that it remained committed to “taking every viable policy and procedural action” to maximize the use of all available employment-based visas by the end of the fiscal year.


Image Source:  USCIS Twitter

The FY 2022 employment-based immigrant visas annual limit is around 280,000 as many unused visas from FY 2021 have been carried forward to the current fiscal year.

Under the US immigration law, 140,000 employment-based US permanent residence visas (US Green Cards) are granted every fiscal year - from October 1 to September 30. This includes the -

  • Principal applicants,
  • Their spouses, and
  • Dependent children.

The spouse and dependent children might either accompany the applicant, or follow to join them at a later date.

Employment-based immigrant visas, also referred to as EB visas for the US, come under five different categories.

What are employment-based immigrant visas for the US?



Individuals that seek to immigrate to the United States based on their job skills. To be eligible, they must have the right combination of education, skills, and/or work experience.

How many EB visas are typically available in a year?

140,000 (includes applicants, spouses, and children)

EB visas Annual Limit in FY 2021

Total : 262,288

Issued : 195,507

Unused : 66,781

EB visas Annual Limit in FY 2022

280,000 (double the usual annual total)

Types of US employment-based visas

First Preference EB1: Priority Worker and Persons of Extraordinary Ability

For -

(1)   persons of extraordinary ability in arts, athletics, business, education, or sciences;

(2)   Outstanding professors or researchers; and

(3)   Multinational executives and managers.

Second Preference EB2: Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability

For individuals that either -

(1)   Hold an advanced degree,

(2)   Have an ‘exceptional’ ability in arts, business, or sciences.

Third Preference EB3: Skilled Workers, Professional, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)

For -

●       Professionals,

●       Skilled workers, and

●       Other workers.

Fourth Preference EB4: Certain Special Immigrants

Includes, among others -

●       Retired employees of international organizations,

●       Employees of US foreign service posts.

Fifth Preference EB-5: immigrant Investors

For business investors that invest either -

●       USD 1.8 million, or

●       USD 900,000 (if in a Targeted Employment Area)

in a new commercial enterprise that provides full-time employment to at least 10 US workers.

What was the annual limit for employment-based visas in FY 2021?

262,288 was the annual limit for EB visas for the US in FY 2021, almost double the typical annual total.

How many employment-based visas were issued in FY 2021?

195,507 employment-based visas for the US were issued in total in FY 2021. Of these, USCIS used 175,728 through adjustment of status. Another 19,779 EB visas were granted by the Department of State (DOS).

Adjustment of status is when an individual already present in the US gets a Green Card by applying for a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status. In such situations, there is no requirement to return to the home country to complete visa processing.

How many EB visas went unused in FY 2021?

66,781 visas went unused at the end of Financial Year 2021.

Why 280,000 employment-based US Green Cards by September 30, 2022?

The overall annual limit for EB-5 Green Cards is 280,000 - twice as high than usual - in FY 2022 mainly due to the pandemic-related closure of consular offices overseas in the recent past. Almost all of the 140,000 family-sponsored visa numbers went unused in FY 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

According to USCIS, “We are dedicated to ensuring we use as many available employment-based visas as possible in FY 2022”. The Financial Year 2022 ends on September 30, 2022.


Topics: Work, USA




Canada Express Entry: Proposed Changes to Allow NOC-Specific Draws

Canada is planning to overhaul the Express Entry Canadian immigration route. As...


UK Visa Delay for Indians in 2022 | Processing Times

Following a resumption of international travel after almost two years of a...


Canada PNP: New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot Launched