Based on the demand for EB-5 visa numbers during 2013 and the volume of approved I-526 petitions at the National Visa Center, the Department of State predicts that a cut-off date may need to be established for China, which accounts for more than 80% of total number usage. No other countries in the EB-5 category will be impacted.
If a cut-off date is established, it will not likely take effect until July 2014 at the earliest and is more likely to occur in August or September 2014. Therefore, depending on how quickly USCIS reduces the I-526 backlog, the EB-5 cut-off date may need to be retrogressed more than one year. It is possible that numbers will again become current for some period of time at the onset of the new fiscal year on October 1, 2014.
The possible retrogression would apply to both Regional Center and direct investment cases. Quota retrogression may delay for years the ability of Chinese nationals to immigrate after filing the I-526 petition and therefore to start up the business.
Applicants should monitor children who may ‘age out’, as well as develop alternate immigration strategies if the retrogression happens this summer. Also, applicants may need to discuss alternate exit strategies in Regional Center investments as well. In any case, please consult with your attorney immediately if EB-5 China retrogresses to discuss your options.
We will keep you posted on additional details at www.bashyamspiro.com.