eb1 eb2 eb3 per country cap
Green Card

This is How 140,000 Employment Based (EB) Green Cards is Given Per Country

How many Green Card’s does U.S. Government issue to Employment Based Green Card?

140,000 Employment based Green Card is available per fiscal year foreign nationals.

Let’s do some math to help you understand how 9800 green cards are allocated.

EB Spillover – Green Card

  • Total Number of Employment Based = 140,000 (Worldwide)
  • EB1 (PhD and above) = 140,000  *  28.6% = 40,000
  • EB2 (Masters, BE+5 yrs)= 140,000  *  28.6% = 40,000
  • EB3 (Bachelors) = 140,000  *  28.6% = 40,000
  • EB4 (Special Immigrants)= 140,000 * 7.1% = 10,000
  • EB5 (Investors Visa) = 140,000 * 7.1% = 10,000

There is per cap country limit on top of annually allocated limit for each of the above EB Green Card visa categories.

  • Per Country Cap (7%)
  • Visa Categories = EB1, EB2, EB3, EB4 and EB5
  • EB4  =  10,000 * 7.1% = 695
  • EB5  = 10,000 *7.1% = 695
  • EB1  =  (40,000 * 7%) = 2802 + unused in EB4 and EB5.
  • EB2   =  (40,000 * 7%) = 2802 + unused EB1
  • EB3  =  (40,000 * 7%) 2802 + unused EB2

This is how it will look like

  • EB4 + EB5  -> EB1 -> EB2 -> EB2 (India + China) -> EB3

Description of EB Spillover

  1. Green Card Visas that are not used from EB4 and EB5 go to EB1 category.
  2. Then unused numbers from EB1 goes to EB2.
  3. In EB2, all the spillover go to a most retrogressed country (India in this case) till it reaches the next retrogressed (China in this case).
  4. Unused EB2 numbers from 40,000 will be used by other countries in EB2 Category.

I have highlighted “spillover” at #3 and #6 article below.  Now you know how Green Cards are allocated per country.

Example – Applications submitted on October 1, 2001 on EB3 are currently being processed. Yes, it takes that long to get Green Card. But, there is another important factor that impact that 9 years wait – How many Green Card applications are submitted (or in a queue) till date.

EB1 is marked current. Which means there is no wait time.

We have covered 2 steps in understanding in understanding the Employment Based Green Card process and many more to come that will help you get a complete understanding of the process.

  1. Visa Bulletin
  2. Per Country Cap and Green Card Numbers Spillover

More detailed version of this Spill Over Math is explained in Article #6 Below.

So, do you have any questions till now about the Green Card process?

  1. Wait Time to Get Green Card in USA for Eb1, EB2 and EB3
  2. Green Card Steps for  EB2 and EB3 Explained
  3. Green Card Visa Numbers availability for E1, EB2 and EB3 (this article)
  4. US Green Card Waiting Time Based on Pending Applications
  5. Immigration Path : Steps for an F1 Visa to Become U.S. Citizenship
  6. How EB Green Card Spill Over between EB1, EB2, EB3, EB4 and EB5 works

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  1. Hi,
    Your documents on this subject really give lot of information. As we mentioned that there is chance of spill over from EB1 to EB2 then EB2 to EB2 as well.
    Now this spill over will happen when? How monthly visa no distribution is determined for given country?

    Please provide your comments

    1. Data is available only till Oct 2017 as of now. Check out I-485 Inventory data from USCIS site. About 1300 per month is what should use for calculation.

    1. Here’s the simple math. Every month about 1250 new applicants are applying for EB2 India.
      Total Available EB2 issued to Indians – 2800
      Without spillover Eb2 India gets maybe 4000
      So, you can do the math based on current PD.
      So, you are looking for several years of wait time.

  2. Hi,

    I have a query with respect to Green card processing and H1b stamping.

    I am currently on L1A visa in US. My employer is filing for Green card under EB1c(manager) category. Hope to file I140 in Dec 2010. Earlier this year i applies for H1B through a consultancy ( having client contract info ). Assuming that my H1B is approved through consultancy as of 1 'oct 2010…


    a) If i go for H1B stamping in India while I140 is inprogress. ( assuming 485 is not filed with 140). Will this affect my 140 application.

    b) If i resign from my current employer in June 2011….i know green card process would be zero. Can i go for H1b stamping in June 2011 ( i.e after 9 months of h1b begin date).

    Please advice.

  3. The common misconception is that if get PhD you are in EB1 and MS you are in EB2. It doesnot work that way. The company you work for and the job you are or planning to do should have a minimum requirements. For example, Mininum requirement for the job should be MS or BS + 5 yrs for you to be eligible for EB2. Even if you have MS and if the job only requires BS + 2 yrs, then u will for under EB3 only.

  4. hi,

    I am thinking of getting enroll for Phd program. While searching, i found good online phd programs.

    Question: Is it possible to apply for green card in EB1 based on online phd?



    1. Hey Vishal,
      I dont think it is possible to apply for greencard after studying online from an accredited US institution.

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