Family Based Green Card Spillover to Employment Based Quota

Catch Highlights on June Visa Bulletin Chat with Charlie.

Updated March 17, 2021, US Department of State started a new program entitled Chats with Charlie oppenheim live on Youtube and also promised to come live every month after the visa bulletin is released. This is a promising step forward, especially for the Green Card backlog people.

Charlie Oppenheim is the Department of State’s Chief of Visa Control and Reporting Division. He is responsible for issuing the monthly Visa Bulletin.

Here are the key highlights of the Chat:

  • Not expecting a high number of Family-Sponsored numbers to be used by the immigration service and any unused family numbers will fall across and be added to the baseline of 140k annual limit for Employment Based.
  • Expects 226k limits for Family Based Category and 275k limits for Employment Based Category for the fiscal year 2022. October 1, 2021 will be the beginning of the federal fiscal year 2022.
  • In the April Visa bulletin, China and India employment first preference became current and it will remain current throughout the remainder of the year barring any extraordinary spikes in demand which is unlikely.
  • Also, potential unused employment based first preference numbers to start falling down for employment second preference category which will be a big benefit.
  • Last year, approximately 9000 numbers went unused under the annual Employment limit of 140k because of the processing constraints. Current fiscal year has a limit of 262k for Employment Category which USCIS will try to use maximum. 
  • Eb2 and Eb3 categories for China and India would expect aggressive movement in coming months.

September 23, 2020, Trump’s executive order back in April 2020, to ban entry of immigrants, brought some light for the long waiting people in India queue especially in EB2/EB3 category.

October 1, 2020 will be the beginning of the federal fiscal year 2021, and with it, the infusion of a new allocation of immigrant visa numbers. In effect of executive order mentioned above, there are unused green cards. The question is, if unused green card numbers in the employment based categories that might spill over into the next fiscal year.


With the current situation to believe, this year’s employment-based visa numbers are not all going to be used up, even though there is plenty of demand mainly in India and China backlog, because USCIS cannot process them fast enough, so employment-based visa numbers are expected to be unused by the end of this fiscal year ending September 30th, 2020.

The executive order still brings favorable news, as unused family based quota in 2020 potentially spill over to Employment Based quota. The question is, how many numbers would be benefited? Expecting about 250k or more Green Cards for employment based category in 2021 fiscal year compared to 140k for the normal year and this is great news for India/China backlog as an extra 110,000 green cards available.

Still, one thing remains unknown, how that will play out with the actual movement of the dates, as it’s hard to predict until October Visa Bulletin is out.

Read about: Downgrade EB2 to EB3

Know the Green Card Process Flow – Explained

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