EB1 'Einstein Visa' Applicants Face 10-Year Retrogression in US Green Card Process: Here's Why

Updated on: 2023-08-30 - 2 mins read
EB1 Category Green CardUS Green Card ProcessEB1 Einstein VisaAugust 2023 Visa Bulletin
"EB1 'Einstein Visa' Applicants Face 10-Year Retrogression in US Green Card Process: Here's Why"

Key Points:

  • Indian professionals pursuing US Green Cards through the EB-1 visa route are facing a surprising setback.
  • The EB-1 visa category, known for its efficiency, caters to individuals with exceptional talents or academic achievements.
  • The US Department of State's August 2023 visa bulletin revealed a 10-year retrogression for Indian EB-1 applicants, pushing the final action date back to January 1, 2012.
  • The retrogression is unexpected due to the historical trend of the EB-1 category moving closer to becoming current.
  • Factors contributing to the setback include pandemic-related disruptions and surging demand, particularly in the EB-1C sub-category for multinational managers.
  • Some Indian professionals' accumulated expertise and leadership roles over the years have contributed to the retrogression's impact.


In a surprising turn of events, Indian professionals pursuing Green Cards in the US through the EB-1 visa route are encountering an unexpected setback. Renowned for its efficiency in processing and catering to individuals with exceptional talents or academic achievements, the EB-1 category has historically been a beacon of hope. However, the latest US Department of State's visa bulletin for August 2023 has revealed a staggering 10-year retrogression for Indian EB-1 applicants, pushing the final action date back from February 1, 2022, to January 1, 2012.

Understanding the Setback:

The sudden retrogression has sent shockwaves through the community of Indian professionals aspiring for Green Cards. This is particularly surprising considering the recent trend of the EB-1 category for India moving closer to becoming current. This abrupt change marks a significant departure from the historical norm.

Factors Behind the Setback:

The EB-1 visa category comprises sub-categories like EB-1A, EB-1B, and EB-1C, each influenced by its unique trends, partly shaped by the ongoing pandemic. While the EB-1C sub-category, catering to multinational managers, experienced a slowdown during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, the subsequent resumption of global travel in 2022 resulted in a surge of EB-1C visa petitions for FY 2023. This surge underscores the resilience of managers in pursuing EB-1C petitions after overcoming pandemic-related challenges.

The Impact of Expertise and Skills:

Indian professionals in the US have amassed a wealth of expertise, skills, and a reputation over the years, often ascending to leadership roles. The accumulation of these credentials makes many eligible for exclusive visa categories such as EB1-A and EB1-B. Those in research-oriented careers, in particular, tend to advance and take on responsibilities that set them apart. Unfortunately, the 10-year retrogression affects a diverse range of professionals.

Varying Outcomes:

While some individuals, like Praneet Dutta, a Google DeepMind senior research engineer, navigated relatively smooth processing for the EB-1 Green Card despite challenges, many others find themselves facing significant hurdles due to the backlog. The impact of this retrogression is especially pronounced among those whose priority dates fall after 2022, causing considerable concern and frustration.

Unraveling the Reasons:

Arianna Efstathiou, an immigration attorney, attributes the retrogression primarily to skyrocketing demand, resulting in a shortage of available visas for the current fiscal year. Efstathiou suggests that the language used in the visa bulletin could have been more measured, considering the potential alarm it might raise. She also points out that certain Indian applicants can benefit from early priority dates carried over from the EB-2 or EB-3 categories.

Glimpse of Hope:

Amidst the challenges, a glimmer of optimism emerges. The Department of State projects a potential reversion of Indian EB-1 immigrant cut-off dates to levels seen in August 2023 by October of the same year. This projection raises hopes of a positive turn in the new fiscal year, offering a potential respite for those affected.


The sudden and unprecedented 10-year retrogression in the EB-1 visa category has taken the Indian professional community by surprise. The combination of pandemic-related disruptions, surging demand, and intricate processing dynamics has led to this setback. While the implications vary for different individuals, the prospect of a possible improvement in the months ahead provides a ray of hope in what has otherwise been a challenging situation.

Official Link:

US Department of State: Visa Bulletin For August 2023