The October 2020 visa bulletin from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has announced an increase in the EB-5 annual visa quota. Pursuant to Section 201(d)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act the worldwide level for annual EB-5 visa quota is set to a minimum of 14,000. However, the October bulletin has announced an increase that is almost double the minimum quota to approximately 261,500 visas available for the 2021 financial year.
The big question is where do these visas come from? The surplus of visas comes from the unused 2020 family-based visas. The Covid-19 pandemic may have also contributed to the surplus of visas as government offices had been closed, drastically decreasing application processes. Therefore it is possible that once government offices and foreign posts fully re-open, the number of visa issuance will rise significantly.
Overall, this is an enormous win for the EB-5 program and EB-5 potential investors as holistically, this increase translates to a 7% increase of each country cap. Numerically calculating to an increased limit of 1300 visas per country.
The EB-5 immigrant investor program has seen a number of changes in the 2020 financial year, the most pertinent of the changes being that all of the final action and application dates have been advanced expeditiously. This means that for countries such as India who had a wait period of around 2 years for obtaining their visa post approval of I-526 petition are now current. In practice, Indian nationals applying for the EB-5 visa should now be able to obtain their visa as soon as their I-526 petition is approved.
Currently countries such as China and Vietnam still have a backlog in visa availability. However, the increase in country cap limit means that these investors that have been waiting for years will be able to obtain their visas and subsequently work toward reducing the backlog.
The culmination effects of the increase in visa quota, advancement of final action dates and the new USCIS visa availability processing approach means that EB-5 prospective applicants will obtain their visas at a much quicker rate. Furthermore, the increase of EB-5 investments directly equates to the stimulation of the U.S. economy and labor market. Which further solidifies the importance of the EB-5 immigrant investor program in the U.S.
Our team of lawyers have been working on the EB-5 immigrant investor program for over 10 years and have aligned the firm with specialists who understand and can anticipate the changes that occur within the program. Our team of U.S. licensed attorneys are the best EB-5 visa consultants in Dubai. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.