Visa retrogression refers to situations when there are more visa applicants for a certain category or countries than there are available visas for that month. Typically occurring near the end of the fiscal year, visa retrogression can end up meaning that visa applicant’s priority dates shift around the set cut-off date, meeting it one month and then potentially not meeting it the following month due to the surge in demand.

How Retrogressed Visas Are Processed by USCIS

US immigration Visa application & passport
US immigration Visa application & passport

Retrogressed visas will not be processed by officials at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) until the priority date for the applicant becomes available. This can end up meaning that a visa application is “held in abeyance,” as USCIS explains, until there are visas available again.

During this abeyance, the visa application will be held at a USCIS location, with the specific location depending on the type of visa being requested. Commonly, however:

  • The USCIS center where the original application was filed will continue to hold that application if no interview will be needed to process the case.
  • The Texas Service Center will hold employment-based visas when the required interview has been completed.
  • The National Benefits Center will hold family-sponsored visas when the required interview has been completed.

Visa Retrogression: More Important Information

  • To find out if your visa application may be subject to retrogression, you can check the visa cut-off dates published in the monthly edition of USCIS’ Visa Bulletin.
  • When visa retrogression comes into play, USCIS may require applicants to provide updated application materials when their priority dates finally become current. This is why USCIS urges applicants to maintain a current address with the agency.
  • While applicants wait for their priority dates to become current, they can apply for employment authorization (to obtain permission to work in the U.S.) and/or permission to travel outside of the U.S.

Contact a Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C.

Do you need help securing a visa or resolving any immigration issues? If so, you can turn to a Los Angeles immigration lawyer at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C. For more than 15 years, our lawyers have been successfully representing clients in various types of immigration cases, including those that involve the most basic immigration applications to those associated with extremely complicated federal court litigation.

To learn more about our citizenship, immigration and deportation defense services contact us today by calling (626) 684-3712 or (866) 227-5527 or by emailing us using the form at the upper right-hand side of the screen. From our office in Pasadena, we serve clients throughout the Los Angeles area, across the state of California and from around the world.

We offer free, confidential initial consultations to provide potential clients with expert advice regarding their immigration law needs. Additionally, we are able to provide immigration legal services in various languages, including in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Bahasa Indonesian, Tagalog and Fukienese.