Serving EB-5 investors in USA and Asia, with empathy and specialized skills gained through years of experience, our office focuses on quality rather than quantity.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to take part in a teleconference on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.
Let me quickly job down my personal take on the current status of EB-5 Program.
The best article I found on the web explaining the Chinese EB-5 visa numbers retrogression is:
Written by another US immigration attorney, Julia Park, not affiliated with our office in any way. Good article.
Retrogression for China may take place in 2014 for several months to 1 year. Essentially, this means the time it takes for an average Chinese EB-5 investor will increase significantly. It would not surprise me if it takes 3 years or more for Chinese EB-5 investor to obtain a conditional green card. This development will have all kinds of consequences.
1. Do not be surprised if Chinese EB-5 IV numbers become back-logged next year.
2. Expect long delays in adjudication of I-526s and I-829s until EB-5 cases are transferred to the newly-created EB-5 Program Office in Washington, D.C. Currently, I-924 Regional Center applications are sent and adjudicated at the Washington, D.C. Office, but I-526 and I-829 cases are stuck at CSC. This delay is causing the demand for EB-5 cases to go down sharply in some countries other than China. Chinese wealthy applicants have no other options basically, so they are stuck doing EB-5 cases.
We recently provided one-hour of paid consultation to a Texas based company on recommended structuring for additional direct, EB-5 cases and I-829 requirements for an existing EB-5 case.
Currently, there are over 400 RCs. That's way too many. If ever China stops supplying EB-5 cases, then the EB-5 market will be dead. Also, the slow adjudications of I-526s by USCIS is causing a serious problem in attracting EB-5 clients from countries other than China. Chinese investors are still forced to proceed with EB-5 cases mainly because all other immigration classifications are even slower than the EB-5 route.
We recently helped two Asian investors based in one of South East Asian countries obtain I-526 approvals and Immigrant Visas. They will probably immigrate to California soon.
Although more and more RCs are being approved, with hypothetical or actual project approvals, I-526s are taking very long time. When will the promised transfer from CSC to the already-created Washington DC EB-5 Office occur? No one knows. China still appears to provide close to 90% of all EB-5 cases, meaning, without Chinese cases, the EB-5 area is dead. Perhaps this adjudication delay is the only way to avoid Chinese priority date from becoming back-logged.
An increase in the number of RCs has resulted in a greater competition for EB-5 funds, especially from China. However, that is not the biggest problem facing the EB-5 Program these days. A bigger problem is due to a severe slow-down in EB-5 adjudications involving I-526s and I-829s at CSC. A newly-established EB-5 Program Office in Washington, DC supposedly was going to solve this problem -- the EB-5 community is still waiting and wondering, as it always does. Even pre-approvals of actual projects do not appear to lead to quick adjudications of pending I-526s. What gives, and what is the use of doing EB-5 cases if USCIS is not going to adjudicate them quickly?
2013 Annual Report by USCIS Ombudsman's Office. EB-5 info begins at page 33.
According to recent CSC Processing Times Report, they are currently adjudicating I-526s filed in March of 2012 and I-829s filed in May of 2012! This means as of now, you can expect I-526s to be adjudicated in 15 months! May I make a suggestion to Congress? Please shut the EB-5 Program down if USCIS is going to take more than 17 months to adjudicate I-526s and 15 months to adjudicate I-829s. This is unfair to not only RCs but to foreign investors. Also, what is the newly-established EB-5 Program Office in Washington DC doing to resolve this problem?
Today, we gave a telephonic consultation to a nice Chinese-American lady living in the East Coast, who called on behalf of her brother in China who wants to do an EB-5 case, to find out what factors she should look for in several potential EB-5 projects she was given by the EB-5 agent company in China. After the consultation, she seemed to be very satisfied with the consultation. It was too bad that I could not speak Mandarin, but luckily her English was good enough for us to communicate.
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