For the past few months the monthly EB-5 immigrant investor visa bulletin has been a source of good news for industry professionals and prospective investors. The December bulletin released by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) reiterated the new era of a decrease in application backlog for all nationalities barring China and Vietnam.
In the fiscal year of 2019, India became the largest EB-5 market with the most I-526 petitions filed outnumbering China and Vietnam. Albeit this may be due to the long backlog in application processing and visa availability for both China and Vietnam which might be a deterring element for possible applicants. Additionally, this financial year USCIS has overall seen the lowest number of EB-5 filings, which makes it an unfair comparison to the rest of the years.
What are the reasons for this categorically low number of applicants for such a popular and beneficial program?
- The increase to the required investment capital
- High backlog of applicants in the system deterring prospective investors
- Coronavirus border closures and travel restrictions
- Coronavirus impact on global economy
- Trump haphazard changes to immigration policies
However, not all has been doom and gloom. This period of low applications has allowed for USCIS to catch up with the backlog and implement systems that will ensure more productive processing measures for future applications. For Indian nationals this came with the news of retrogression.
Although changes are visibly being seen with the release of each visa bulletin. Backlogs are decreasing and visa caps are being doubled, some investors are still wary as to whether the cost of the investment still coincides with the benefits received. Holistically the program will always present with it great benefits that outweigh the few hurdles that may be presented. The reason for its popularity is due to its benefits and route to direct U.S. citizenship. While investors may have to wait a few years to ultimately get citizenship. They still are U.S. persons and get the same benefits while holding their U.S. green cards.
Furthermore, the many advantages of participating in the EB-5 program will always be the driving force for prospective investors. For instance, families with children that want to continue or start their studies in the U.S. have 5 significant benefits that make the investment of $900,000 worth it:
- EB-5 investors and their families living in the U.S. are eligible for in-state tuition.
- Students who have received their U.S. green card will essentially have more job opportunities.
- Higher chance of being accepted into a U.S. college or university.
- Free government grants and scholarships to students who received their green cards.
- Free public education for children ages 5-18
Now is the best time for prospective investors to file their applications, with the increase in visa allocations, and no backlog for most countries barring China and Vietnam. Processing of applications will undoubtedly be faster and that will mean investors obtain their U.S green cards and residency sooner.
We are a team of U.S. licensed lawyers who specialize in the EB-5 program. We have been in the immigration industry for over 7 years, assisting families obtain their U.S. green card and residency from the GCC region. Our company the American Legal Center, operates out of Dubai, United Arab Emirates and is ready to assist you start your journey. Contact us today.