DOS Announces EB-5 Visas for Chinese Nationals Unavailable until October 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014 - 5:00pm

On August 23, 2014, the Department State announced it will not be issuing any new visas in the EB-5 immigrant visa category for Chinese nationals for the Fiscal Year ending September 30, 2014. Ultimately - this is a delay of essentially one month for Chinese national investors and their family members who have not yet been scheduled for an interview by a U.S. Consular post. Adjustments of status will also be pended until the new visa numbers become available on October 1, 2014. This is however the first time that the EB-5 immigrant visas have been limited prior reaching the end of the fiscal year and is a symptom of the overwhelming demand for this particular immigrant visa type by one particular nationality.

Demand for the EB-5 immigrant visa category from Chinese nationals has increased dramatically to the point where about 80% of the total EB-5 visa applicants are Chinese Nationals. This led the Department of State to warn earlier in the year that the overwhelming use of the EB-5 immigrant visa category by one particular nationality may make it necessary to limit visas issued to that nationality for the fiscal year.

What is the EB-5 Immigrant Visa?

The EB-5 Green Card program is an attractive immigration option for retirees, entrepreneurs, investors, professionals, students and other high net worth individuals who are able to make an investment which creates 10 jobs. An EB-5 investor can get a Green Card almost fast as one who marries a U.S. citizen. Other relative petitions take 5-15 years. Employment-based Green Cards take 3-8 years. However, it is important to point out that investors who qualify under the EB-5 category have similarly attractive options in other green card categories . Maggio + Kattar attorneys Jim Alexander and Alix Mattingly will be part of the panel presenting the CLE course at the DC Bar Advising Foreign Nationals on Starting a Business in the United States: Business Strategy and Immigration Issues . on October 7, 2014.

The Immigration Act of 1990 established the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program to create U.S. jobs by attracting foreign capital to the United States. Every year 10,000 EB-5 Green Cards are available. There is no quota waiting list for EB-5, unlike H-1B and H-2B nonimmigrant visa classifications, and most EB-2 and EB-3 immigrant classifications where the demand far exceeds the supply.

At least 3,000 of the 10,000 EB-5 Green Cards are set aside for qualifying immigrants who participate in an EB-5 Regional Center program that targets high unemployment or rural areas across the United States.