|August 28, 2014|
Previously published on August 25, 2014
According to a senior State Department official, the EB-5 immigrant visa quota for China has been exhausted for FY 2014 -the first time such exhaustion has occurred in the history of the investor permanent residence category. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to accept Form I-485 adjustment of status applications from Chinese nationals with approved immigrant entrepreneur petitions during the last weeks of this fiscal year, but will not be able to act on them until October 1, when FY 2015 immigrant visa numbers become available.
EB-5 China will again be current as of October 1, but because of continued high demand, the State Department expects to impose a priority date cut-off in May or June of 2015. When the cut-off date is set, Chinese nationals could see EB-5 backlogs of several years or more.
The EB-5 China projections were announced at a recent American Immigration Lawyers Association conference by Charles Oppenheim, the State Department’s Chief of Visa Control and Reporting.
What This Means for Foreign Nationals
Chinese nationals with approved Form I-526 immigrant entrepreneur petitions can still file adjustment applications with USCIS, but their adjustments would not be acted upon until more EB-5 immigrant visa numbers are made available on October 1. If and when a priority date cut-off is imposed for EB-5 China next year, Chinese investors would not be able to file adjustment applications or apply for immigrant visas until their priority date - the date that their I-526 petition was filed - becomes current. For Chinese investors, this would mean lengthy waits for green cards.