Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Retrogression is the most critical issue in EB-5 Program

USCIS is dealing with huge retrogression for Chinese applicants as more and more Chinese investors apply for the EB-5 visa.  2014 was the first year the EB-5 program hit the assigned 10,000 annual visas capacity.  Chinese investors started facing a consistent visa backlog in 2015 and it continues to grow each year. We recently heard Charles Oppenheim, the Chief of the Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting within the U.S. Department of State, predict Vietnam will be subject to a cut-off date in 2018 and India by 2020.  However, this backlog of visas is most critical of Chinese investors who contribute to roughly 80% of EB-5 investors. 

Developers may be able to explore emerging markets but it is still the ever-important Chinese market that is the backbone of capital into the United States.  Chinese investors are going to lose interest in EB-5 and consider other emigration programs as retrogression forces waiting lines to become longer.

The growing retrogression issue has the potential to undermine the primary goal of the EB-5 Program. The intent of the program is to create new American jobs from foreign capital. As backlogs and waiting lines become longer, we fully expect the EB-5 program to become less popular and less capital to flow into the United States. It is important that we face retrogression head on now so we can fully maximize the benefits of the EB-5 Program.  

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