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Visa’s Unavailable for Chinese EB-5 Applicants for 2014 Fiscal Year

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On August 23rd the Chief of the Department of State’s Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division, Charles Oppenheim, made an important announcement regarding significant changes made to the EB-5 preference category. Oppenheim announced that for the first time since the creation of the EB-5 category, the EB-5 preference category would become unavailable to Chinese applicants for the 2014 fiscal years.

What does it mean for the EB-5 preference category to become unavailable? 

What the department means is that, the maximum number of EB-5 immigrant visas available to Chinese applicants for the fiscal year of 2014 have already been issued. Thus, there are no longer any available EB-5 immigrant visas for the 2014 fiscal year.

Though a cutoff date for Chinese applicants of the EB-5 program has not yet been announced, and the September Visa Bulletin has not yet been amended, the announcement signals that the demand for EB-5 visas will likely cause oversubscription or retrogression impacting the amount of visa’s available. Due to this, cut off dates will likely be established for this category for future fiscal years.

What is Oversubscription?

When a category is considered ‘current’ but the demand is too much to bear, it requires an initial cutoff date to be established.

What is Retrogression?

When an established cutoff date is established, but demand forces the next month’s cutoff date to be earlier than the current cutoff date to meet

Since the September Visa Bulletin has not yet been amended, Chinese EB-5 qualified applicants, can continue to file their adjustments of status in August and September. Processing of EB-5 adjustment of status applications will continue. Chinese applicants who are already far along in the processing of their applications need not be concerned. There will be no impact for the majority of Chinese EB-5 visa applicant’s whose applications complete processing in the next 6 to 8 months.

Additionally:

  • On October 1, 2014 (the first day of the fiscal year 2015) 10,000 visas will become available.
  • For applicants who expect to have interviews at U.S. Consulates in August of September of this years: interviews will continue as scheduled and visas will be issued to qualified applicants who have proven that they met the requirements.
  • Immigrant visas will be valid for a period of up to 6 months from the date of issuance.
  • If wait times increase, future applicant’s may have to deal with impractical time frames for job creation and may likely have to make changes to their business plans due to delays in the issuance of their visa’s.

For guidance please contact our office.