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August 25 2014

China EB-5 Quota News

China EB-5 Quota News

This weekend in Chicago, I met the State Department’s official who distributes visa numbers.  He reported that extra visa numbers would be allocated to the American Consul in Guangzhou Consul, in order to use all 10,000 EB-5 numbers in fiscal year 2014.  This is the first time the EB-5 quota will be exhausted.  All those scheduled for immigrant visa appointments in August and September 2014 have visa numbers assigned and they can proceed to obtain their immigrant visas and immigrate to the U.S.  The EB-5 quota however, as some report, is not closing.  Some adjustment applicants in the U.S. for whom the USCIS seeks a visa number in September will be held until October 1, 2014, when a 2015 visa number will be allocated to the immigrant.

The State Department Official also said that based on current I-526 filings and past approval rates, he predicts that in April 2015, he will announce the EB-5 quota for China (but no other countries) will backlog and it will roll back to about June 2013.  This means only people with I-526s filed on or before June 1, 2013, will, when the I-526 is granted, be able to proceed with their immigrant visa application and can be allocated a visa number.

The State Department Official predicts that in 2016 there will be a 2-year backlog and in fiscal year 2017 a 3-year backlog.  There is already a wait time of about 1.5 to 2 years for an I-526 and immigrant visa.  So the added wait time may be 1 year.  We will see at that time.

As you know, the majority of EB-5 investors are from China.  The average investor has a spouse and one child.  Thus, there will be about 3,500 families allowed to immigrate annually under the EB-5 category.  In the last quarter of 2014 alone, 3,000 I-526s were filed with the USCIS.

Thus, it is important for all to lobby their Senators and Congressional Representatives to extend the EB-5 statute and eliminate the need for EB-5 visa numbers for dependents or increase the visa numbers to 20,000.  Regional center owners and developers should meet personally with their Congressional Representatives and Senators.

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