Visa Bulletin for November 2018
The November 2018 Visa Bulletin was released by USCIS in Washington D.C. and summarizes the availability of EB-5 visa numbers during November for updated “Final Action Dates”. This indicates when the investors should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center to get their green cards.
What is a Final Action Date?
A final action date (FAD) marks the end of a “current visa” status for a country, indicating a backlog. It does not affect the EB-5 project. Most countries do not have a FAD and are current. Countries with a FAD means that an investor is only eligible for the green card (adjustment of status or consular processing) if the priority date is available, a date they receive from USCIS upon I-526 approval.
On the chart below, a date indicates that a country is oversubscribed, and “C” means current. This means that numbers are authorized for issuance to all qualified applicants. Numbers are authorized for issuance only for investors whose priority date is earlier than the final action date listed below.
|5th Non-Regional Center
(C5 and T5)
|5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
China and Vietnam:
The U.S. EB-5 program has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, with no greater utilization than from investors born in mainland China. One industry expert estimates wait times between 4 and 8 years for families to receive their EB-5 visa. The backlog in China hasn’t deterred investor interest too severely, however. In fact, the backlog problem has prompted parents, worried about their children turning 21 and aging out of the visa program before their green cards are approved, to start applying years before their children reach high school.
More and more Chinese parents are investing in the EB-5 program for their kids, and not for themselves. In fact, two families just came through the Florida Equity and Growth Fund Regional Center (“FEGFRC”) who the petitioners were five and six years old. Their parents want them to study and live in the U.S. and although the time delays in getting through the EB-5 program is approximately 8 total years, the parents are starting this process now for their kids to ensure they will be fully approved before they start their undergraduate college studies. According to numerous prestigious EB-5 law firms, nearly one-third of Chinese applicants are applying in their teenage children’s names, anticipating that their green cards would not be available until they are adults and can move to the United States on their own.
India: Because of the backlogs in China and Vietnam, new markets such as India have emerged with a dramatic increase in demand for EB-5 visas. Because of this, the State Department will impose a FAD for India no later than June or July of 2019, however, it is possible that India could see a FAD issued earlier.
Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan will also have a FAD at some point in the summer of 2019.
Investors who wish to pursue EB-5 are advised not to wait to file the I-526.
Despite current and future backlogs for an EB-5 visa, current and prospective investors can remain confident in the EB-5 Investor Program, as it continues to be a viable option for high net worth individuals seeking to obtain a green card quickly, as compared to other visa categories such as the H1-B and L1 visas.
The EB-5 Program offers the following advantages:
One Investment: Investors, their spouses, and children under 21 years of age can all receive U.S. green cards by funding a single project with a single investment.
Education: Green card holders may attend U.S. schools and universities at the same cost as U.S. citizens.
Flexibility: Live, work, and retire anywhere in the U.S., and travel easily to other countries.
Healthcare: Gain access to the same high-quality healthcare available to U.S. citizens.
Passive Investment: Third parties manage your investment and all aspects of the project.
No Language Requirement: Proficiency in English is not necessary to participate in the EB-5 program.
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