February 2023 Visa Bulletin

In a Nutshell

There were very few changes in wait times between the January 2023 Visa Bulletin and the February 2023 Visa Bulletin released by the U.S. State Department this week. There were no changes in wait times in any preference category for family-based green card applicants. The backlog for employment-based green card applicants in the "Other Workers" preference category grew by two years, seven months, and one week for applicants from El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines, and all other countries. There was no change in wait times for other workers applying from China and India or for workers in any other category.

Written by ImmigrationHelp News Team
Updated January 18, 2023


How To Read the February 2023 Visa Bulletin

The U.S. Department of State has published its February 2023 Visa Bulletin, which shows the most recent priority date cut-offs for green card filings.

The Visa Bulletin can be confusing, so we’ve put all the information you need to know in easy-to-read charts below. To find the cut-off date for your category, you’ll need to know your preference category and your priority date.

  • Your preference category is based on:

    • Your familial connection if you’re applying for a family-based green card

    • Your professional credentials and education if you’re applying for an employment-based green card

  • Your priority date is the date USCIS received your green card application. You can find yours on the Notice of Action (Form I-797) that USCIS sent you via mail or email after receiving your application.

If your priority date is before the cut-off date listed in the relevant chart below — congratulations! — you can submit your green card application. If your priority date is after the cut-off date, you need to wait to submit your green card application.*

There are two different dates on the Visa Bulletin: Final Action Dates and Dates for Filing. Each month USCIS announces which date U.S.-based green card applicants should reference. The information in the tables below will always reference whichever date USCIS has announced for the current month.

If you want to learn more about the visa bulletin, preference categories, or priority dates, you can read our visa bulletin guide. If you need help applying for status or understanding your case, you can use our free web tool. If we aren’t able to help you, we can refer you to an experienced immigration attorney.

Note: For simplicity’s sake, our tables contain the language “All Other Countries” rather than USCIS’s language “All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed,” but the meaning and intent are the same.

Family-Based Green Cards by Preference Category

The USCIS backlog for family-based green cards didn’t change from January 2023 to February 2023 in any preference category.

Backlog for F1 (first preference) Green Cards: Unmarried Children (at least 21 years old) of U.S. Citizens

CountryCut-Off DatePrevious Cut-Off DateChange in Wait TimeCurrent Estimated Wait Time
All other countriesAug. 8, 2016Aug. 8, 2016No change6 years, 4 months, 11 days
China - mainland bornAug. 8, 2016Aug. 8, 2016No change6 years, 4 months, 11 days
IndiaAug. 8, 2016Aug. 8, 2016No change6 years, 4 months, 11 days
MexicoDec. 1, 2002Dec. 1, 2002No change20 years, 18 days
PhilippinesApril 22, 2015April 22, 2015No change7 years, 7 months, 27 days

Backlog for F2A (second preference) Green Cards: Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents

CountryCut-Off DatePrevious Cut-Off DateChange in Wait TimeCurrent Estimated Wait Time
All other countriesCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent
China - mainland bornCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent
IndiaCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent
MexicoCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent
PhilippinesCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent

Backlog for F2B (second preference) Green Cards: Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents

CountryCut-Off DatePrevious Cut-Off DateChange in Wait TimeCurrent Estimated Wait Time
All other countriesJan. 1, 2017Jan. 1, 2017No change5 years, 11 months, 18 days
China - mainland bornJan. 1, 2017Jan. 1, 2017No change5 years, 11 months, 18 days
IndiaJan. 1, 2017Jan. 1, 2017No change5 years, 11 months, 18 days
MexicoJan. 1, 2002Jan. 1, 2002No change20 years, 11 months, 18 days
PhilippinesOct. 1, 2013Oct. 1, 2013No change9 years, 2 months, 18 days

Backlog for F3 (third preference) Green Cards: Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens

CountryCut-Off DatePrevious Cut-Off DateChange in Wait TimeCurrent Estimated Wait Time
All other countriesNov. 8, 2009Nov. 8, 2009No change13 years, 1 month, 11 days
China - mainland bornNov. 8, 2009Nov. 8, 2009No change13 years, 1 month, 11 days
IndiaNov. 8, 2009Nov. 8, 2009No change13 years, 1 month, 11 days
MexicoJune 15, 2001June 15, 2001No change21 years, 6 months, 4 days
PhilippinesNov. 8, 2003Nov. 8, 2003No change19 years, 1 month, 11 days

Backlog for F4 (fourth preference) Green Cards: Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens

CountryCut-Off DatePrevious Cut-Off DateChange in Wait TimeCurrent Estimated Wait Time
All other countriesDec. 15, 2007Dec. 15, 2007No change15 years, 4 days
China - mainland bornDec. 15, 2007Dec. 15, 2007No change15 years, 4 days
IndiaFeb. 22, 2006Feb. 22, 2006No change16 years, 9 months, 27 days
MexicoApril 1, 2001April 1, 2001No change21 years, 8 months, 18 days
PhilippinesApri 22, 2004Apri 22, 2004No change18 years, 7 months, 27 days

What This Means for Family-Based Green Card Applicants

If your priority date is before the cut-off date listed above, you can submit your green card application. If your priority date is after the cut-off date, you need to wait to submit your green card application. Your priority date is the date USCIS received your Form I-130: Petition for Alien Relative. You can find your priority date on the Notice of Action (Form I-797) that USCIS sends you to confirm it has received your I-130 application.

Wondering about next steps? Our free web tool can help you apply for status, understand your case, and connect with an attorney for just $24 per month if you need help with your immigration application.

Employment-Based Green Cards by Preference Category

The USCIS backlog for "Other Workers" increased by two years, seven months, and one week. This change affects skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers who are applying for employment-based green cards from El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines, and all other countries. There was no change in wait times for other workers applying from China and India.

The USCIS backlog for all other employment-based green card preference categories didn’t change from January 2023 to February 2023.

Backlog for EB-1 Green Cards for Priority Workers 

CountryCut-Off DatePrevious Cut-Off DateChange in Wait TimeCurrent Estimated Wait Time
All other countriesCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent
China- mainland bornJune 1, 2022June 1, 2022No change6 months, 18 days
El Salvador/Guatemala/HondurasCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent
IndiaJune 1, 2022June 1, 2022No change6 months, 18 days
MexicoCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent
PhilippinesCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent

Backlog for EB-2 Green Cards for Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability

CountryCut-Off DatePrevious Cut-Off DateChange in Wait TimeCurrent Estimated Wait Time
All other countriesDec. 1, 2022Dec. 1, 2022No change18 days
China- mainland bornJuly 8, 2019July 8, 2019No change3 years, 5 months, 11 days
El Salvador/Guatemala/HondurasDec. 1, 2022Dec. 1, 2022No change18 days
IndiaMay 1, 2012May 1, 2012No change10 years, 7 months, 18 days
MexicoDec. 1, 2022Dec. 1, 2022No change18 days
PhilippinesDec. 1, 2022Dec. 1, 2022No change18 days

Backlog for EB-3 Green Cards for Skilled Workers & Professionals

CountryCut-Off DatePrevious Cut-Off DateChange in Wait TimeCurrent Estimated Wait Time
All other countriesCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent
China- mainland bornSept. 1, 2018Sept. 1, 2018No change4 years, 3 months, 18 days
El Salvador/Guatemala/HondurasCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent
IndiaAug. 1, 2012Aug. 1, 2012No change10 years, 4 months, 18 days
MexicoCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent
PhilippinesCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent

Backlog for EB-3 Green Cards for Other Workers

CountryCut-Off DatePrevious Cut-Off DateChange in Wait TimeCurrent Estimated Wait Time
All other countriesFeb. 1, 2020Sept. 8, 2022Increased by 2 years, 7 months, 7 days2 years, 10 months, 18 days
China- mainland bornNov. 1, 2015Nov. 1, 2015No change7 years, 1 month, 18 days
El Salvador/Guatemala/HondurasFeb. 1, 2020Sept. 8, 2022Increased by 2 years, 7 months, 7 days2 years, 10 months, 18 days
IndiaAug. 1, 2012Aug. 1, 2012No change10 years, 4 months, 18 days
MexicoFeb. 1, 2020Sept. 8, 2022Increased by 2 years, 7 months, 7 days2 years, 10 months, 18 days
PhilippinesFeb. 1, 2020Sept. 8, 2022Increased by 2 years, 7 months, 7 days2 years, 10 months, 18 days

Backlog for EB-4 Green Cards for Certain Special Immigrants

CountryCut-Off DatePrevious Cut-Off DateChange in Wait TimeCurrent Estimated Wait Time
All other countriesJuly 22, 2022July 22, 2022No change4 months, 27 days
China- mainland bornJuly 22, 2022July 22, 2022No change4 months, 27 days
El Salvador/Guatemala/HondurasApril 15, 2018Apri 15, 2018No change4 years, 8 months, 4 days
IndiaJuly 22, 2022July 22, 2022No change4 months, 27 days
MexicoOct. 15, 2020Oct. 15, 2020No change2 years, 2 months, 4 days
PhilippinesJuly 22, 2022July 22, 2022No change4 months, 27 days

Backlog for EB-5 Green Cards for Immigrant Investors - Unreserved

CountryCut-Off DatePrevious Cut-Off DateChange in Wait TimeCurrent Estimated Wait Time
All other countriesCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent
China- mainland bornJan. 1, 2016Jan. 1, 2016No change6 years, 11 months, 18 days
El Salvador/Guatemala/HondurasCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent
IndiaDec. 8, 2019Dec. 8, 2019No change3 years, 11 days
MexicoCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent
PhilippinesCurrentCurrentNo changeCurrent

What This Means for Employment-Based Green Card Applicants

If your priority date is before the cut-off date listed above, you can submit your green card application. If your priority date is after the cut-off date, you need to wait to submit your green card application. Your priority date is the date USCIS received your PERM application or (if not required) the date USCIS received your Form I-140 or Form I-526, employment-based visa petition. You can find your priority date on the Notice of Action (Form I-797) that USCIS sends you to confirm it has received your employment-based visa application.

Unsure of what to do next? Our free web tool can help you apply for status, understand your case, and connect with an attorney if you need help with your application.

How We Calculate Changes in Wait Time

When the cut-off date changes from one month’s Visa Bulletin to the next, you’ll see a change in wait time listed in the tables above. Here’s the formula we use to calculate this change in wait time:

Prior month’s cut-off date – Current cut-off date = Change in wait time

In our calculations, “Current” equals the date that the U.S. Department of State actually released the Visa Bulletin. Each Visa Bulletin represents a snapshot in time; the data isn’t updated in real-time, but rather gathered and released monthly. Using the actual release date of the Visa Bulletin allows us to best estimate the change in wait time and current wait time for various green card preference categories.


Continue reading and learning!

Why Vaccine Passports Will Discriminate Against Asylum Seekers and Refugees
By Darryl Rigby
USCIS Announces Updates to Fee Exemptions and Expedited Processes for Afghan Nationals
By ImmigrationHelp News Team
February 2023 Visa Bulletin
By ImmigrationHelp News Team
Weekly Immigration News Roundup: Nov. 11, 2022 (Archive)
By ImmigrationHelp News Team