Lately, there have been many rumors that the EB-5 program was shut down completely. In reality, the program is still in operation and the U.S. Immigration Services continue to accept EB-5 applications from the foreign investors, who wish to apply for a Green Card by investing $500,000-$1,000,000 into the U.S. economy. The temporary “unavailability” had only affected the Chinese investors.
On August 23, 2014, the U.S. Department of State announced that the EB-5 visa (Green Card through investment program) will be unavailable for Chinese investors until the end of this fiscal year because the number of Chinese applicants exceeded the number of allocated Green Cards for China under this program.
Since the fiscal year for the immigration purposes starts on October 1, there will be a new set of EB-5 visas issued on October 1, 2014 and the EB-5 visa category will once again become current for the Chinese investors too. However, due to the large number of already submitted applications, it is projected that there will be a significant delay in processing of the EB-5 visas for the Chinese investors.
Although the number of EB-5 foreign investors from the other countries such as Russia, India, Taiwan, Great Brittan and Mexico grew in the resent years, it is still much smaller than the number of Chinese investors. Therefore, the EB-5 visa retrogression will not affect non-Chinese foreign investors. Moreover, it should create greater opportunities for these foreign investors, since their applications are expected to be approved by the Immigrations Services faster.