2024 Green Card Backlog Predictions and End of Year Summary!!!

In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a new press release shared by the Department of State which provides insights on the status of visa operations worldwide during fiscal year 2023. The report highlights that from October 2022 through September 2023, DOS issued more than 10 million visas worldwide, with half of U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world issuing more visas than ever before.

In this post, we provide a summary of the agency’s impressive achievements and visa statistics over the past fiscal year.

If you would like to know more about this topic, we invite you to watch our video.


According to the press release, the Department of State hit a near historic record, issuing more than 10.4 million nonimmigrant visas worldwide in fiscal year 2023.

Nearly 8 million visitor visas were issued for business and tourism – more than in any fiscal year since 2016.

With respect to student visas, the Department of State issued more than 600,000 student visas, the highest figure in any year since 2017. Specifically, Embassies and Consular posts in India issued more than 140,000 student visas, a record high. Separately, 40,000 student visas were issued to African students, with more than 9,700 issued to Nigerian applicants.

With respect to employment-based visas, DOS issued a record-breaking 442,000 visas to temporary and seasonal workers, including workers performing agricultural work and other areas of our economy where there is a shortage of U.S. workers.

Additionally, 590,000 nonimmigrant visas were issued to highly skilled workers and business executives working in some of the nation’s most critical fields, ranging from emerging technology to healthcare.

Finally, DOS issued nearly 365,000 nonimmigrant visas to airline and shipping crew members, essential to maintaining global transportation and the nation’s supply chains and the U.S. and global economy.

Such record number of visa issuance was made possible by the expansion of interview waivers for applicants renewing their visas in certain categories, and other innovative solutions that have cut down visa wait times at Consulates and Embassies worldwide.

Unfortunately, the discretionary interview waiver policy is set to expire on December 31, 2023, and there is currently no information regarding the Department of State’s intent to continue interview waiver flexibilities.  The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and other interest groups are applying pressure on both the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security to continue its interview waiver policy to provide relief to visa renewal applicants.

If DOS continues its interview waiver policy, we predict that more interviews will be scheduled for both immigrant and non-immigrant visa categories in fiscal year 2024, because more interview slots will become available for other visa categories at Consulates and Embassies worldwide. This will cut down on visa processing times and delays in interview scheduling.

The press release also mentions the Department of State’s new pilot program resuming domestic visa renewals of H-1B workers launching on January 29, 2024. The program will allow 20,000 qualified H-1B visa applicants to renew their visas without having to leave the United States.

This pilot is designed to test the technical and operational ability of the Department of State to resume domestic visa renewals and expand the program in the future.

We hope that the agency will continue to implement new strategies and put in place policies that will be geared toward cutting down the visa backlogs so we can continue to see great progress in fiscal year 2024.

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