EB-5 Wait Times and Visa Bulletin Projections

EB-5 Wait Times and Visa…

Yesterday AILA's EB-5 Committee issued a practice pointer with key considerations from a presentation by Charles Oppenheim, the Chief of the Department of State's Visa Control and Reporting Division, on May 6 in Washington, D.C.. His presentation was a part of the Invest in the USA EB-5 Advocacy Conference and it addressed important updates regarding EB-5 visa demand. The two most important parts of his presentation focused on estimated future wait times and visa bulletin predictions.

What is an EB-5 Visa?

EB-5 visas are employment-based fifth preference visas. Under the EB-5 program, entrepreneurs, their spouses, and their unmarried children under 21 are eligible to apply for green cards if they make an investment in a new commercial enterprise in the United States and they plan to create or preserve 10 permanent, full-time jobs for US workers. EB-5 visa classification has an annual quota of approximately 10,000 with no more than 7% going to any one country. This quota includes investors and their spouses and children. The Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, is filed by the EB-5 investor to show that they are in the process of investing or have already invested in an EB-5 project. The EB-5 program was created in 1990 by Congress with the purpose of stimulating the US economy through job creation and investment by foreign investors.

Estimated Future Wait Times

Demand for EB-5 visas is largely from investors from China, Vietnam, and India. Based on demand trends, Oppenheim provided the following "worst case scenario" wait time projections chart for investors filing their Form I-526 after May 6, 2019. These times do not apply to EB-5 applicants that filed before May 6, 2019.

Country of Chargeability

Estimated Wait Time (based on May 6, 2019 priority date)

China 16.5 years
India 8.4 years
Vietnam 7.6 years
South Korea 2.4 years
Taiwan 2.4 years
Brazil 1/6 years
Rest of the World No foreseeable quota backlog

Oppenheim also provided a chart with the percentage of visas going to investors and the percentage of visas going to dependents from China, India, Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, and Brazil. It is important to note, however, that these are rough estimates and no methodology can comprehensively include all variables. Despite this, these estimates offer insight into how demand and the per-country limit impact the availability of EB-5 visas.

Country of Chargeability

Percentage of Visas going to investors/(dependents)

China 36%/(64%)
India 41%/(59%)
Vietnam 26%/(74%)
South Korea 35%/(65%)
Taiwan 36%/(64%)
Brazil 32%/(68%)

Visa Bulletin Predictions

In addition, Oppenheim offered an idea of what to expect for the rest of fiscal year 2019 and into fiscal year 2020 for China, Vietnam, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Brazil.

Oppenheim expects the July Visa Bulletin to advance to October 1, 2014 for Mainland China. He does not expect this date to advance for the remainder of the year unless the demand in the rest of the world decreases substantially. In October 2019 (the start of FY2020), Oppenheim predicts that the best case scenario for China would be an October 15, 2014 final action date and the worst case scenario would be an October 8, 2014 final action date.

For Vietnam, Oppenheim expects the July Visa Bulletin to advance to October 1, 2016. After this, Vietnam will hit its annual limit and then it will return to China's date. In October, Oppenheim predicts that the best case scenario for Vietnam would be a December 15, 2016 final action date and the worst case scenario would be a November 22, 2016 final action date.

Oppenheim predicts that India will hit its annual limit in late June or early July. In October, Oppenheim predicts that the best case scenario for India would be a Fall 2017 final action date and the worst case scenario would be a Summer 2017 final action date.

Oppenheim does not expect backlogs for South Korea, Taiwan, or Brazil in FY 2019 and he predicts that they will be current in October.

For More Information:

Learn more about the EB-5 Visa Classification here.

This blog post does not serve as legal advice and does not establish client-attorney privilege. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team directly.

Find us on LinkedIn.

This information comes from a news release from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA Doc. No. 19050734).