EB-5 Visa Petition Processing Data from FY2020 Q2

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released statistics about its processing data from the second quarter of 2020 financial year (January 1 to March 31, 2020). Processing rates have increased considerably compared to Q1 FY2020; however, the processing rate remains far lower than it was in previous years. USCIS also received far fewer […]

Trump Extends Immigration Ban Until the End of 2020

On April 22, 2020, President Trump signed into law a temporary immigration ban, intended to last for 60 days. The purpose of the legislation was to ensure U.S. workers were prioritized as the economy reopens after being ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the decree included a number of exceptions, including the immediate family members […]

Insights into FY2020 EB-5 Processing with Charles Oppenheim

On June 16, 2020, IIUSA held a webinar with Charles Oppenheim, the chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division of the U.S. Department of State. Oppenheim offered a wealth of valuable EB-5 information, primarily about EB-5 processing in FY2020 and how processing may look going forward. In total, the call lasted about one and […]

What Kind of Funds Can Investors Use in the EB-5 Program?

One of the most troublesome requirements of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program for investors is the source of funds requirement. EB-5 investors must demonstrate in their I-526 petition that they have obtained all their EB-5 capital from lawful sources. Depending on the sources an investor uses, the process of collecting the necessary documentation can be […]

Indian EB-5 Final Action Date Current in July 2020 Visa Bulletin

It’s the news all Indian EB-5 investors have been waiting for: the Indian final action date for EB-5 visa green cards is finally current. The Indian final action date has been jumping forward rapidly in recent months, likely a result of the worldwide U.S. embassy and consulate closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. United States […]

Investing in a Troubled Business in the EB-5 Program

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, one of the quickest and easiest paths to a U.S. green card for foreign investors, offers EB-5 visas in exchange for an investment in a qualifying project. To receive a visa, an investor must demonstrate that their investment in a new commercial enterprise (NCE) has fulfilled certain requirements, such as […]

What Is the EB-5 Visa Bulletin?

Certain EB-5 investors need to pay close attention to the monthly Visa Bulletins published by the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs. They don’t affect all EB-5 investors—in fact, as of June 11, 2020, they only apply to investors from China, India, and Vietnam. However, the EB-5 landscape is constantly changing, and […]

What Are the Best U.S. Start-up Visas for Entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurs around the world aim to relocate to the United States for a better and freer life with unlimited business opportunities. With top-quality universities, state-of-the-art health facilities, and unbeatable freedoms, the United States promises immigrants a better and brighter future for themselves and their families. The United States offers a wide range of start-up visas […]

What to Consider When Investing in the EB-5 Program

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is one of the fastest and easiest ways for foreign nationals to secure a life in the United States and enjoy all the benefits that come with it. Every year, investors from around the world apply to the EB-5 program for a better future in the prosperous United States. Despite […]

Promoting the Positive Impacts of the EB-5 Program

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program has long been marred with stories of fraud and fakery, but the picture the media paints is far from the reality of the program. While there have indeed been cases of fraud in the EB-5 program—there will always be a minority of bad actors in the world—the vast majority of […]

What Happens to an EB-5 Petition If the Investor Dies?

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program offers a unique opportunity to foreign investors and their immediate family members to obtain U.S. permanent resident status in exchange for a successful qualifying investment in an EB-5 project. An investor can include their spouse and unmarried children younger than 21 on their EB-5 visa application. At the end of […]

What Can You Do If Your EB-5 Petition Is Denied?

For the countless foreign investors around the world who wish to relocate to the United States, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is one of the best options. Established in 1990, the program offers foreign investors permanent resident status in the United States for themselves and their immediate family members in exchange for an investment in […]

Will EB-5 Investors Still Want to Immigrate After COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented crisis in the modern world, has changed the world as we know it. The health crisis has already deeply affected the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, forcing the temporary closure to the public of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices across the nation and the suspension of routine visa […]

What USCIS’s Case Processing Times Mean

On the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website, EB-5 investors and regional centers can check the estimated processing time range for their I-526, I-829, and I-924 petitions on the Check Case Processing Times page. The page is constantly updated, and as of June 4, 2020, USCIS gives the following estimates for processing times: […]

A Guide to Understanding the Monthly Visa Bulletin

Every month, the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs releases a visa bulletin that reveals which EB-5 investors are eligible to apply for and receive visas. However, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program process is complicated—sometimes too complicated for a simple graph. The information in the monthly Visa Bulletin is easy to misunderstand, […]

USCIS Offices Slated to Reopen: June 2020 EB-5 News

On March 18, 2020, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) closed all its offices to the public to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Nonetheless, USCIS continued to adjudicate I-526, I-829, and I-485 petitions for EB-5 investors because they do not require face-to-face contact. With the pandemic beginning to subside and the country starting […]

How is COVID-19 Affecting EB-5 Processing and Visa Availability?

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill, with economic shutdowns across the United States and other countries, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program continues on. The pandemic has caused United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCSIS) to temporarily close its offices to the public all across the nation, but since application processing […]

Why Aren’t All I-526 Petitions Adjudicated in the Same Time Frame?

It can be frustrating for EB-5 investors to wait a long time for their I-526 petition to be adjudicated, especially when they see other investors around them receiving adjudication. Since the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is complicated, every petition is different and therefore requires a different process and timeline for adjudication. This can result in […]

How to Make an EB-5 Investment During COVID-19

Though much of the world has come to a standstill in the COVID-19 pandemic, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program carries on. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to work on EB-5 petition adjudications, and foreign investors are still free to prepare and make EB-5 investments during the crisis. The pandemic has certainly changed […]

Obtain a U.S. Green Card Through the EB-5 Program After COVID-19

As the number of new COVID-19 infections continues to decline in various countries, the world can start to evaluate each country’s response to the pandemic. The health crisis has exposed weaknesses in many countries’ systems, particularly in developing countries. In response, foreign investors around the world are contemplating whether they should move to a more […]

All About the Visa Bulletin

While the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is open to investors from all over the world, not everyone experiences the same EB-5 journey. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) only allocates approximately 10,000 visas to the EB-5 program per fiscal year, and no country is supposed to get more than 700, meaning investors from high-demand […]

FY2019 EB-5 Investor Country Statistics

The country statistics for EB-5 investors in FY2019 are in, and they reveal an increasingly diversifying pool of EB-5 investors. Since FY2014, several countries have seen spikes in investor numbers, and these countries may even join the ranks of backlogged countries in the future. The top six countries are China, India, Vietnam, South Korea, Brazil, […]

Debunking Common Misconceptions about the EB-5 Program

The EB-5 program has found itself embroiled in bad press amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, largely due to false rumors that President Trump would bring sweeping changes to the EB-5 program as part of a coronavirus relief bill. Though Senator Lindsey Graham, purported to have pushed for the changes, has vehemently denied the rumors, it was […]

USCIS Updates the National Historical Average Processing Time for I-526 Petitions

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated the historical national average processing times for I-526 petitions to include February 2020, with processing times increasing to 12.9 months from 12.6. Despite the increase, the national historical processing time remains at a five-year record low, indicating a faster I-526 processing period for EB-5 investors. The […]

The EB-5 Job-Creation Potential the U.S. Government Refuses to See

As COVID-19 sweeps through the United States and the rest of the world, it has left a path of shuttered businesses and unemployment behind it. As an employment-based immigration program that creates jobs for the everyday U.S. worker, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program could be ideal to help the U.S. economy get back up and […]

What to Consider When Selecting an EB-5 Project

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is one of the fastest and easiest ways foreign nationals can immigrate to the United States, provided they have the necessary investment funds. An investment must satisfy several EB-5 criteria before the investor can receive a U.S. green card, so prospective investors are urged to conduct meticulous due diligence when […]

The Implications of USCIS Office Closures for EB-5 Investors

On March 18, 2020, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the nationwide closure of all its public offices due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The global crisis is affecting countries all over the world, upending life on all corners of the globe, and EB-5 investors are also encountering disruptions in their U.S. visa process. […]

The U.S. Immigration Ban Doesn’t Affect EB-5 Investors

The novel coronavirus pandemic has halted life around the world, confining ordinary people worldwide to their homes and forcing U.S. consulates globally to close. As the United States begins to look forward, the government is drafting plans to prioritize U.S. workers when the economy opens back up. One such measure President Trump has taken was […]

What Is an EB-5 Targeted Employment Area?

U.S. Congress created the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program in November 1990 to spur economic growth in the United States via the capital of foreign investors. In exchange for a large investment that funds the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs occupied by U.S. workers, EB-5 investors receive U.S. green cards for themselves and their […]

May 2020 Visa Bulletin: India Leaps Forward

The May 2020 Visa Bulletin is here, and it brings good news for Indian EB-5 investors. The priority date for Indian EB-5 investors has jumped ahead by a whopping nine months, meaning Indian investors can enjoy a much faster EB-5 process than previously anticipated. China, India, and Vietnam remain the only countries that do not […]

EB-5 Visa Petition Processing Data from FY2020 Q1

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released statistics about its processing data from the first quarter of FY2020 (October 1 to December 31, 2019). The low rate of adjudications seen in FY2019 has continued in the beginning of FY2020, with only 455 adjudicated I-526 petitions and a whopping 17,000 pending. FY2020 Q1’s I-526 […]

Regional Center Due Diligence Is Crucial to EB-5 Investment Success

EB-5 investors must conduct meticulous due diligence on the EB-5 regional center they choose to work with to ensure the success of their EB-5 investment. Given the growing trend of regional center terminations since 2019, investing through the wrong regional center could cost EB-5 investors their chance at a U.S. green card. United States Citizenship […]

I-526 Processing Times Drop in 2020

Every cloud has a silver lining, and for some EB-5 investors, the silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is faster processing times for I-526 petitions. Because the I-526 petition is a complex form requiring numerous supplementary documents and each EB-5 investor’s circumstances are different, processing times inevitably differ, but recent months have seen a stark […]

A Guide to Form I-829

Filing Form I-829 is the final step before an EB-5 investor completes the EB-5 visa process and obtains unconditional permanent resident status in the United States. The three main administrative steps in the EB-5 process are filing Form I-526, applying for conditional permanent residence, and petitioning United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to remove […]

Reasons to Immigrate to the United States—Even Despite COVID-19

With entry bans, significantly reduced flight schedules, and mandatory quarantines, immigration during the COVID-19 pandemic is more or less impossible, but immigration to the United States after the pandemic is not only possible, it’s a great idea. For investors worldwide, the EB-5 program is the ideal pathway to a U.S. green card. Here’s why you […]

Who Does the EB-5 Visa Availability Approach Affect?

On March 31, 2020, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) transitioned from its traditional first-in-first-out (FIFO) I-526 processing approach to a visa availability approach. What does this mean for EB-5 investors? It depends on their country of origin. How the Visa Availability Approach Works Under the previous FIFO approach, USCIS assigned I-526 petitions for […]

The Ultimate Graduation Gift: An EB-5 Visa

In most countries, another school year is coming to an end, and youth around the world are preparing to embark on new adventures. New high school graduates will start selecting their classes at university, and new college graduates will set out in the professional world to make a name for themselves. Many of these fresh […]

The Changes 2020 Has Brought to the EB-5 Program

The Visa Availability Approach Announced in January 2020 and enacted on March 31, 2020, the new visa availability processing approach for I-526 petitions has made its debut, with its concrete impacts yet unclear. Even though the new processing approach brings noticeable changes to the EB-5 journey, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has failed […]

Wait Times for an EB-5 Visa Amidst COVID-19

Good things come to those who wait. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is complex and popular, so expect to wait at least a couple of years by default before receiving your conditional permanent resident status. The unpredictable situation of COVID-19 may also influence wait times. Here’s how long you can expect to wait in the […]

What to Do If You Receive a USCIS RFE

One of the most dreaded experiences for participants in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is receiving a Request for Evidence (RFE) from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Not every EB-5 investor encounters this anxiety-inducing situation, but those who do need to plan their response carefully to not jeopardize their chance of obtaining U.S. […]

The Benefits of Investing Through an EB-5 Visa Regional Center

Not all EB-5 journeys are the same. There exist two main pathways to a U.S. green card through the EB-5 visa program—direct investment and regional center investment. Both have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the investor’s goals and wishes, but far more EB-5 investors opt for regional center investment because it is generally considered more […]

The Benefits of an EB-5 Visa Investment

The United States of America—the name alone conjures up images of wealth and freedom in the minds of people worldwide. Immigration is not easy, however, and with people all over the world clamoring at the chance for a life in the United States, most cannot realize their dream. If you’re a foreign investor, an EB-5 […]

The Impact of COVID-19 on the EB-5 Program

The world has been thrust into the largest global disaster since World War II, with countries all over the world seeing high numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths. The unprecedented catastrophe has ushered in a new era of social distancing and lockdowns, but the EB-5 program continues on. Since March 18, 2020, United States Citizenship […]

What Are the Advantages of Regional Center Investment?

EB-5 investors have two possible investment methods in the EB-5 program: direct investment in a new commercial enterprise (NCE) or indirect investment through a regional center. Depending on an investor’s goals and skills, direct investment may be suitable, but most EB-5 investors choose regional center investment because it offers several benefits. Lower Immigration and Financial […]

Gifting Your Child Money to Invest in an EB-5 Visa

Many parents around the world wish to continue their lives in their native country, where they have established social and business contacts, but would like to offer their children the rich opportunities that a life in the United States provides. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is the ideal pathway to procure U.S. permanent resident status […]

Indian Priority Date to Become Current by Summer 2020

The recent diminished EB-5 demand from India is good news for Indian EB-5 applicants who have already invested in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. New information from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) suggests the Indian EB-5 priority date will become current by summer 2020. The Current Final Action Date for Indian EB-5 Investors […]

The EB-5 “At Risk” Requirement

One of the requirements of a successful EB-5 visa investment is that the investment capital be at risk for the duration of the investment. This does not mean that EB-5 investors are required to invest in “risky” projects. Quite the contrary—EB-5 investors are strongly recommended to conduct thorough due diligence to minimize their exposure to […]

False Rumors About EB-5 Changes Due to COVID-19

COVID-19 has made its way to nearly every country in the world, with confirmed cases building quickly in New York, California, and other states across the United States. Schools are closing and businesses are shutting down—some permanently—resulting in major layoffs. Politico has falsely reported that to stimulate the economy in these chaotic times, President Trump […]

All About the EB-5 Modernization Rule

In 2019, the EB-5 Modernization Rule brought some major changes to the EB-5 visa investment program. The changes have left EB-5 investors, project developers, and regional center managers alike confused and full of questions. Some of these questions were finally cleared up during the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) public engagement held on […]

What Counts as “Lawful Funds” for the EB-5 Program?

One of the requirements of the EB-5 program is that an investor’s capital has been obtained through “legal sources.” What exactly does United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) mean by “legal sources”? It’s important to know because EB-5 investors must document the lawful source of their funds on their I-526 petition. What Documents Should […]

COVID-19’s Impact on Industries That Use EB-5 Investment

As the world continues its fight against the novel coronavirus, infections are rising, unemployment is increasing, and more and more industries and businesses are suffering. Other than those that operate solely online, most industries are not immune, and those that most heavily rely on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program are among the hardest hit. Here […]

Why Were EB-5 Processing Volumes Down in FY2019?

The EB-5 processing statistics of the past several years make one observation painfully clear: I-526 petition processing volumes were remarkably low in FY2019. The Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO) is a complicated entity, and there is a lot going on behind the scenes that may not be clear on the surface. FY2019’s low processing rates […]

The EB-5 Visa Bulletin for April 2020

The Department of State — Bureau of Consular Affairs has released the EB-5 Visa Bulletin for April 2020. April’s release has been highly anticipated, as April is the first month in which United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will implement its new visa availability processing approach for I-526 petitions. The release of the Visa […]

I-526 and I-829 Processing Data by Country in FY2019 Q1

Likely due to the Freedom of Information Act, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released quarterly processing information for I-526 and I-829 petitions in FY2019 Q1. The data contained in the I-526 and I-829 processing data for FY2019 Q1 provide answers to certain EB-5 questions for which there is generally no concrete information, […]

Regional Center Terminations Continue to Increase in Q1 FY2020

The worrying trend of EB-5 regional center terminations continues to gain momentum. In the first quarter of the federal government fiscal year, from October 1, 2019, and January 31, 2020, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) added a further 39 regional centers to its List of EB-5 Terminated Regional Centers. This does not include […]

Immigrant Investors in the U.S.

Despite some recent backlash against immigrants in America, the United States’ economic landscape has been transformed by immigrant investors in the last thirty years. A study by the National Foundation for American Policy in 2016 found that just over half of U.S. startups worth over $1 billion—including WhatsApp, Uber, and SpaceX—were founded by immigrants. These […]

EB-5 Investment from Saudi Arabia

Although the United States surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia in 2018 to become the world’s largest producer of crude oil, Saudi Arabia has amassed great wealth over the last half century with its own plentiful oil reserves. This has enabled it to maintain a large presence on the world stage, and it is home to […]

What Are the EB-5 Eligibility Requirements?

The EB-5 visa program is open to foreign investors and their families all over the world with the means to invest in EB-5 projects, as long as they meet certain requirements. Those who are successful in their EB-5 investments receive U.S. green cards for themselves, their spouse, and their unmarried children under the age of […]

The Answers to Your Questions About the EB-5 Program

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is subject to constant change as United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) modifies its regulations and processing standards. In recent months, the program has undergone several new changes, with additional changes to come in the near future. Here are the answers to a few of the top questions about […]

Where Is the EB-5 Program Gaining Popularity?

Year by year, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program grows in popularity, attracting more and more foreign nationals who wish to invest in the U.S. economy to obtain a green card. The U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs recently released the EB-5 data for fiscal year 2019, and it reveals explosive EB-5 growth […]

How Long Should EB-5 Investors Expect to Wait Until I-526 Approval?

The EB-5 visa program is anything but fast. Given its growing popularity, backlogs for popular EB-5 countries like China, India, and Vietnam have steadily grown over the years, with countries like South Korea and Taiwan starting to catch up. The waiting process begins even before I-526 approval, as it has typically taken around two years […]

Country-Based EB-5 Statistics in FY2019

Every year, the U.S. Department of State releases the Report of the Visa Office, which offers a peek into the statistics of the U.S. visas, including EB-5 visas, issued throughout the given year. In the report, EB-5 visa statistics are spread out across two different tables: Table V Part 3 (visa recipients who already resided […]

EB5AN’s New Automated EB-5 Program Subscription Agreement

Any government process is accompanied by a large amount of bureaucracy, and the EB-5 visa program is no exception. When an investor decides to commit to a particular EB-5 project, he or she is required to fill out a long, 20-page EB-5 subscription agreement. Filling out a 20-page legal document is a tiresome and error-prone […]

What the New USCIS I-526 Petition Processing Approach Means for Applicants

An announcement on January 29, 2020, revealed that USCIS will shift its I-526 petition processing approach from first-in-first-in (FIFO) to a “visa availability approach” starting March 31, 2020. The new approach aims to prioritize processing for applicants from countries that have visas immediately available, ensuring more countries fill their annual visa allocations. Otherwise, there are […]

New EB-5 Visa Availability Approach for I-526 Petition Processing

New EB-5 Visa Availability Approach for I-526 Petition Processing Important Breaking Announcement from USCIS on January 29, 2020: EB-5 visa I-526 petitions will now start being processed using a visa availability approach instead of using a first-in-first-out (FIFO) approach. Historically, USCIS has always processed EB-5 visa I-526 petitions based on a FIFO process, however this […]

EB-5 Program Processing Statistics

The processing statistics for the EB-5 program have changed dramatically over the past 11 years. The program has grown significantly, with thousands more investors in 2019 than in 2008, but trends are showing a decline from the peak in 2017. The drop could be partially attributed to the backlogs at United States Citizenship and Immigration […]

EB-5 Quota Backlogs and Long USCIS Processing Times Emphasize the Importance of Choosing Reputable Regional Centers

The EB-5 program has seen some changes in recent years, including increased investment fund requirements and more restrictive targeted employment area (TEA) designation, but these are not the only challenges the program faces. Adding to the problem are the lengthy quota backlogs in major EB-5 investor countries and the ever-increasing United States Citizenship and Immigration […]

EB-5 Regional Centers Are Being Shut Down at an Unprecedented Rate, Making Reputable Centers More Important

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has tightened its regulations, and with the new regulations comes an unprecedentedly high rate of regional center terminations. 2019 saw the termination of 75 regional centers, hardly offset by the approval of a mere six. This represents only the second year since 2008 where more regional centers […]

USCIS Lawsuit Challenges the Validity of New EB-5 Program Rules

Regional Center Challenges the Validity of the EB-5 Immigration Investor Program Modernization Final Rule On November 26, 2019, Florida EB5 Investments, LLC (the “Plaintiff”), filed a civil action against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) (the “Complaint”) challenging the validity of the recently implemented EB-5 Immigration […]

EB-5 Updates Now in Force

In July 2019, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published updates to the EB-5 visa program in the Federal Register. The new EB-5 rule, implemented to modernize the program, came into effect on November 21, 2019. While the updates include several technical revisions, the key changes to […]

New EB-5 Regulations Announced – Investment Amount Increases

Advance Copy of EB-5 Final Rule This final rule amends Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations governing the employment-based, fifth preference (EB-5) immigrant investor classification and associated regional centers to reflect statutory changes and modernize the EB-5 program. In general, under the EB-5 program, individuals are eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence in the […]

Q2 FY2019 USCIS Statistics for EB-5 Petition Processing

The USCIS has updated its EB-5 petition processing statistics, displayed on the Immigration and Citizenship Data page, to reflect information about the petitions received and processed during the second quarter of the 2019 financial year (January–March 2019). The overall number of EB-5 forms processed by the Immigrant Investor Office (IPO) during this period decreased significantly, […]

EB-5 Investment from Turkey

Despite social and political upheaval, Turkey’s economy has continued to grow rapidly over the last few years and is still seen as a strong force in the region. It now boasts the eighteenth highest GDP in the world, but rising debt makes this continued pace of growth uncertain. Turkey also faces increasing inflation that hit […]

EB-5 Investment from Iran

Iran is home to the world’s fourth-largest reserve of oil and second-largest reserve of natural gas, and it is within the top 10 world producers of both of these natural resources. As such, it has become the second largest economy in the MENA region behind Saudi Arabia. However, Iran has been the subject of increased […]

EB-5 Investment from Saudi Arabia

Although the United States surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia in 2018 to become the world’s largest producer of crude oil, Saudi Arabia has amassed great wealth over the last half century with its own plentiful oil reserves. This has enabled it to maintain a large presence on the world stage, and it is home to […]

EB-5 Investment from Vietnam

Over the last 30 years, Vietnam has developed from one of the poorest nations in the world into one of the fastest-growing economies. This increase in wealth and the search for better opportunities have led to a rise in wealthy Vietnamese EB-5 investors. Wealth and Economy The number of millionaires in Vietnam has skyrocketed by […]

EB-5 Investment from India

One of the most popular paths to U.S. employment for foreign nationals is the H-1B visa. Under the Bush administration in 2003, the H-1B visa cap was reduced from 195,000 to 65,000. The H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004 increased this cap by 20,000 for candidates who earned a master’s or PhD from a U.S. […]

EB-5 Investment from Venezuela

Venezuela is home to the world’s largest reserves of crude oil, surpassing even Saudi Arabia. While this supply led to a booming economy in the 1990s, the government’s mismanagement of money and pivot to socialism have led to the impoverished nation seen today. Because of the current political upheavaland the resulting uptick in violence, many […]

Q1 FY2019 USCIS Statistics for EB-5 Petition Processing

The USCIS has updated its EB-5 petition processing statistics, displayed on the Immigration and Citizenship Data page, to reflect information about the petitions received and processed duringthe first quarter of the 2019 financial year (October to December 2018). The overall number of EB-5 forms processed by the Immigrant Investor Office (IPO) during this period decreased […]

EB-5 Investment from Brazil

With a population of almost 212 million, Brazil now makes up the third-largest EB-5 market behind China and Vietnam, with the bonus of not yet having hit retrogression. Brazil’s interest in EB-5 visas can be attributed to the country’s recent economic downslide, its high crime and corruption rates, and its poor quality of education. Wealth […]

Immigrant Investors in the U.S.

Despite some recent backlash against immigrants in America, the United States’ economic landscape has been transformed by immigrant investors in the last thirty years. A study by the National Foundation for American Policy in 2016 found that just over half of U.S. startups worth over $1 billion—including WhatsApp, Uber, and SpaceX—were founded by immigrants. These […]

State Department Releases New Visa Tallies by Country

China has long been one of the top sources for EB-5 visa applications worldwide. While the number of Chinese candidates remained high in 2018, new reporting by the U.S. Department of State reveals a significant increase in EB-5 applicants from locales outside mainland China. What the Research Says Last year, the U.S. Department of State […]

Harnessing India’s Potential in the EB-5 Market

The EB-5 market is officially booming on the subcontinent. As of September 2018, India already had 284 EB-5 petitions in place compared to just 164 petitions coming from China. According to reports by the USCIS, the Indian EB-5 market is poised to explode, bringing in an estimated $3 billion by 2020. Unfortunately, some people in […]

EB-5 Changes – Are You Up to Date?

Since 2015, the EB-5 industry has been in limbo in anticipation of new legislation and USCIS regulations that will revamp the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. These lingering proposed changes are still neither final nor agreed upon among government officials. While the government continues to drag its feet, those involved with the EB-5 program have witnessed […]

EB-5 Program 2018 Year in Review

For EB5AN, 2018 was an exciting year marked by milestones, accomplishment, and growth. Our partners collectively spent more than 200 days on the ground in foreign markets—including China, India, Brazil, Colombia, and Vietnam (along with many more)—getting a sense for where EB-5 is headed and how we can keep ahead of upcoming trends. We have […]

Turkish Investors & the EB-5 Program

Turkey is traditionally known as the bridge between Europe and Asia, and this is true – both geographically and economically. Today, the immigration and investment landscape in Turkey is a two-way street, as it remains an attractive destination for investors and tourists, and at the same time is among the countries experiencing high rates of […]

EB-5 Capital Redeployment: Now what?

Whether you are beginning the EB-5 investment process or have already been invested in an EB-5 project, it is a good idea to know the details of capital redeployment in terms of the EB-5 visa program. Capital redeployment may not be a common topic for EB-5 investors, but it is a topic worth understanding. Due […]

How to Choose the Right Immigrant Visa

Current law dictates that around 85,000 H-1B visas are available each year. Application decisions are based on a lottery conducted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), with a random computer system determining who will and won’t be able to seek employment in the United States. Once USCIS ceases to accept additional H-1B visas for […]

EB5AN Named One of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” for 2018 by Entrepreneur Magazine

EB5 Affiliate Network (EB5AN) was recently recognized as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur360 List, a premier study delivering the most comprehensive analysis of private companies in the United States.Based on this study, EB5AN ranks among the top 50 companies in the nation and is recognized as a well-rounded […]

Applying for the EB-5: Helpful Tips for Indian Nationals

It’s no secret that the visa backlog for Chinese immigrant investors is currently a lengthy one. With a 10-year waiting list for aspiring EB-5 visa recipients from China, Regional Centers and Developers are increasingly looking to India as the next big source of investment funds. Indian nationals may be particularly intrigued by this option, as […]

6 Frequently Asked Questions About EB-5 Investment and Redeployment

Created by the Immigration Act of 1990, the EB-5 visa program offers a path to lawful permanent residency for eligible foreign investors. As of 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services confirmed a requirement known as redeployment in the online version of its policy manual. Read on for answers to some of the most frequently asked […]

Assessing EB-5 Visa Wait Lines by Country

Created in 1990, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program enables eligible immigrant investors to become permanent residents of the United States. By investing $1 million in an American business that will employ a minimum of 10 U.S. workers, these individuals may be able to obtain their green cards more quickly than other applicants. Unfortunately, obtaining […]

How Should I Evaluate an EB-5 Construction Project?

There are various elements to consider when choosing an EB-5 project. Along with personal considerations like risk tolerance, desired budget, and preferred business locale, prospective investors need to consider whether or not a project will meet the stringent EB-5 requirements. For example, undertaking a project that doesn’t lead to the creation of the requisite 10 […]

Understanding EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visas: a User’s Guide

In 1990, Congress was looking for ways to boost job creation in the United States while pumping money into the economy. The result was the EB-5 immigrant investor visa category. Designed to lure wealthy foreign investors, the visa offered a path to lawful permanent residency for entrepreneurs and their families. Each year, the Immigration and […]

EB-5 Direct Investments and Qualifying Employees

It’s no secret that the route to becoming a legal U.S. immigrant is long and filled with roadblocks. In an effort to gain a leg up, some individuals enter the EB-5 direct investment program as a way of achieving favorable immigration status in the United States. According to a report by the Washington Post, since […]

Recent Activity Affecting EB-5 Programs and Investors

Several recent announcements made by USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offer interested parties a glimpse at trends in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program, especially how future participants may be affected. While some of these pronouncements may fuel speculation of possible future actions, only by remaining informed can EB-5 advisors and legal […]

Retaining Control Through EB-5 Direct Investments

In the beginning of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, all projects involved direct investments because the regional center option did not appear until several years later. The arrival of the regional center option saw a dramatic move away from direct investments and toward this new investment vehicle. Many EB-5 advisors believe foreign nationals are overlooking […]

The Surging Presence of Brazilian Participation in the EB-5 Program

Brazil, the largest and economically strongest South American nation, has lately become a key participant in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. This is partially due to a recent slowing of its economy, which has been expanding since the 1990s. Brazilian citizens are now investigating investment opportunities beyond their country’s borders and developing a strong interest […]

When Redeployment is Used for an EB-5 Investment

There may be a time during an EB-5 investment that redeployment of the original funds is required. If fund redeployment occurs, investors should understand why it happened and how it should be managed to stay within the EB-5 guidelines as outlined by the USCIS. Because this process is complicated and operates differently depending upon the […]

Potential New Obstacles on the Horizon for EB-5 Visas

Although the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa program began in 1990, it wasn’t until the 2008 repression negatively affected developers, impacting their ability to obtain funding for their ongoing projects, that the program experienced a surge in popularity and participation. While foreign nationals have realized since the inception of the EB-5 program that the easiest route […]

A Closer Look at Green Card Requirements and Approval

There are many paths to immigration in the United States, but all of them require the individual seeking citizenship to acquire a green card. A green card grants the holder a permanent resident status that expires after five years, at which time the holder is eligible for naturalization. Some green card holders are given conditional […]

Basics of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

Now almost 30 years in existence, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program has proven to be a winner both for immigrants seeking citizenship in the U.S. and for the American economy. Begun in 1990, this program has been responsible for driving billions of dollars into the economy while also generating much needed new employment across the […]

E-2 Visas: Alternative to EB-5 Visas

With foreign nationals from China and other countries facing increasing waits and backlogs for their EB-5 Visas, many are now investigating other options that get their foot in America’s door. One of the emerging options that appears to offer either a good first stage, or simply an alternative, to the popular EB-5 Immigrant Investor program […]

Defining At Risk, Debt Arrangement, and Guaranteed Redemption

In the past, attorneys have brought cases against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) when the agency challenged the validity of EB-5 petitions, often claiming that the investment was either not at risk, was a debt arrangement, offered a guaranteed redemption, or some combination of the three. Curiously, the USCIS often confuses or applies all […]

Why You Should Use a Broker-Dealer for EB-5 Investments

There is a reason that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) exists. Its primary function is to protect investors from unscrupulous or unethical principals. To do so, the SEC expects its licensed agents to remain highly knowledgeable and current in the world of investments. Salespersons who attempt to circumvent the purview of the SEC […]

Assessing EB-5 Investment Strengths and Weaknesses

With the surge of interest and participation in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, there has been a similar explosion of regional center investment offerings to keep pace with this growing demand. This offers the immigrant investor more EB-5 investments from which to choose. Since there are many variations in the structure of regional center investments, […]

EB-5 Capital Redeployment Options

Whichever part of the EB-5 investment process you find yourself in, whether you’re still just researching or already invested in the program, it’s never too late to learn about EB-5 capital redeployment. Defining Capital Redeployment When an investor has an ongoing EB-5 investment project and they are filing form I-829 to lift the conditions from […]

Important Things to Look at When Selecting a Regional Center

The EB-5 Visa process was formed so the U.S. could attract investors with high net worth. Qualifying investors are able to get a visa through the EB-5 Program, but only if they meet the investment standards, including a $1 million minimum investment or a $500,000 minimum investment in certain geographic areas. While there are a […]

Where is My Green Card?

EB-5 investment is a path to getting a green card, but it can sometimes take longer than expected and involve more steps than you might have imagined. I-526 Petition Approval After you have submitted your I-526 petition for review, you have officially started the process for EB-5 based permanent residency. But approval of your I-526 […]

Understanding Employee Qualifications for Direct EB-5 Investments

All investors appreciate the necessity of analyzing and assessing financial opportunities. It is crucial to inspect every possible aspect of an investment to ensure that all potential risks are factored in. When evaluating an EB-5 investment, even more scrutiny and due diligence is demanded of the prudent investor. EB-5 Direct Investment Opportunity Foreign nationals desirous […]

Assessing South Korean Immigration to the U.S.

Among Asian nationals, South Koreans tend to have a good understanding of the immigration picture in the United States. In conjunction with their improved economy, South Korean citizens have recently exhibited greater interest and participation in the EB-5 Visa program offered through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Overview […]

India & the EB-5 Visa Boom

The EB-5 Program has recently seen a dramatic increase in the number of Indian EB-5 Visa applications filed. On April 6, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the congressionally mandated H-1B Visa cap for fiscal year 2019 had been reached within only five days of the agency opening applications. Yet again, the […]

Surge in EB-5 investors from Latin America

According to the US Department of State, FY 2016 saw nearly two times as many EB-5 immigrant investor visas being issued to Latin Americans as had been issued in FY 2015. This was a result of greater effort being put into encouraging Latin Americans to participate in the EB-5 Program in addition to the current […]

The Use of Bridge Financing in EB-5 Projects

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) established the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program in 1990 as a way for foreign nationals to legally immigrate to the United States with an eventual opportunity for citizenship by making a substantial investment that bolsters the U.S. economy. The investment must be made in an approved project that will […]

Rescuing Troubled Projects

While many issues negatively affecting the success of an EB-5 project and the associated immigration process are related to fraudulent practices, that is not always the case. At times, financial difficulties may arise that put an investor’s immigration at risk. When this happens, a project is labeled as “troubled” and must be carefully monitored. All […]

The Use of Digital Currency in EB-5 Investments

There has been a recent increase in problems arising during the transferring of investment funds for EB-5 immigrant investors. Several countries, including China, Vietnam, and Ethiopia, have instituted regulations regarding how much currency they will allow to be changed into U.S. dollars and have imposed stringent requirements regarding the transfer of investment funds to the […]

SEC Regulations and Their Relevance to EB-5 Investments

There are two questions regarding EB-5 dealings that commonly come up in the legal arena. The first is whether individuals or entities who are recruiting EB-5 investors are permitted compensation if they are not registered broker-dealers. The second is whether a limited liability company (LLC)’s interest in an EB-5-funded new commercial enterprise (NCE) can legally […]

Making Sense of EB-5 Admin Fees

Though the EB-5 immigrant investor program can be an express lane to permanent residency, navigating its process and requirements can be a bit overwhelming. Since EB5AN is the foremost vendor for EB-5 regional center setup and access, our expertise is a reliable resource for investors, lawyers, and developers who need a little help to make […]

Grenada’s CBI Program Expedites EB-5 Investment

The bottleneck created by EB-5 retrogression has prompted prospective Chinese investors to seek another path to US investment and citizenship. As the sole possessor of both a citizenship-by-investment program and a bilateral investment treaty with the US, the tiny island nation of Grenada provides another option for these investors in the form of the E-2 […]

The EB-5 And Africa’s Economic Boom

Since the global financial meltdown of 2008, foreign direct investment (FDI) in the southern hemisphere has risen steadily, coinciding with explosive economic growth on the African continent. African countries such as Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, and Ethiopia have become both sources of wealthy investors and destinations for investment from other nations. African Investment Barriers Though […]

I-829 Petition Approval Requirements

Getting the I-829 petition approved is the final hurdle that EB-5 investors need to clear to complete the EB-5 process and become legal residents of the United States, on their way to full citizenship. In order to get his or her I-829 petition approved, the applicant must prove that the requirements of the EB-5 Program […]

The Uncertain Future of the EB-5 Program

To avoid a long-term government shutdown, the President and Congress just agreed to a defense spending budget for FY 2018 and FY 2019.The agreement also included a decision to provide continuing funding to several federal programs, including the EB-5 Program,through March 23, 2018. Labeled as the “Continuing Resolution,” this portion of the legislation also laid […]

USCIS Fourth Quarter I-526 and I-829 Data Released for FY 2017

USCIS recently updated its online data for I-526 and I-829 Petitions to include Q3 of fiscal year 2017. During Q3 (April through June), the Investor Program Office (IPO) significantly increased its processing of I-829 Petitions, outpacing the receipt of new petitions for the first time in years—and by a significant margin. This increase in processing […]

Navigating EB-5 Project Challenges

As the EB-5 industry expands and matures, it continues to face several serious challenges that threaten the integrity of the program as a whole. These concerns include fraud, misuse of investor funds, and other improper actions undertaken by regional centers and developers—which, in turn, might lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate. […]

USCIS Announces Regional Center Compliance Audits

On March 20, 2017, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced new EB-5 regional center compliance audits. Generally speaking, these audits are intended to enhance integrity within the EB-5 Program, to ensure that regional centers are operating in compliance with the law, and to determine whether they are promoting regional economic growth and job […]

Upcoming Changes to EB-5 Minimum Investment Amounts

For some time now, EB-5 professionals have been anticipating possible changes to the program—either through legislation or through regulation. Each time the EB-5 Program has been due for renewal over the past several years, some level of concern and speculation has arisen regarding potential changes to the program. The EB-5 Program is once again due […]

2017 Changes to the EB-5 Program and Industry Landscape

The EB-5 Program may be facing a number of changes in 2017 from a number of sources—a new administration focused on addressing immigration, a legislature poised to enact comprehensive immigration reform, newly proposed regulations by USCIS, and changes to Chinese capital export restrictions. Taken together, these factors indicate a high probability that changes will occur […]

Proposed EB-5 Program Revisions – January, 2017

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has proposed a number of revisions to the EB-5 Program. These revisions were published in the Federal Register on January 13, 2017, and written comments will be accepted through April 11, 2017. The four primary revisions under consideration are […]

EB-5 Program Poised for Success under Trump Administration

After a contentious and in many ways unprecedented election season, one question looms in the minds of many: What next? What will President Trump do and how will his actions shape the future of the EB-5 Program? Much of Donald Trump’s platform relied on tough talk, particularly toward immigration, and as a result, many immigration […]

Five Recent Causes of RFEs and NOIDs for I-526 Petitions

In response to changing economic needs and securities regulations over the years, various trends have emerged in the adjudication of EB-5 visa petitions as United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) focuses on new areas of concern within the program. As the I-526 petition is a crucial determiner of whether investors successfully navigate program requirements […]

USCIS Fee Increases Announced 10/28/2016

Today the Federal Register published U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule, a final rule adjusting the fees required for most immigration applications and petitions. Out of the above changes, the fee increase for Form I-924 is the most significant – a 186% increase from $6,230 to $17,795. This fee increase applies to new regional […]

Preparing for Changes in the EB-5 Program

Recent uncertainty regarding the future of the EB-5 Program harkens back to temporary shakeups in 2013 brought about by the publication of the May 30 memorandum by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). While EB-5 practitioners were quick to adapt to the adjustments outlined in the memo, similar concerns have arisen in the present […]

Primary Elements of a Safe EB-5 Project

The evolution of the EB-5 market has encouraged investors to undertake increased levels of due diligence prior to committing to projects. Aside from assessing whether a project will remain financially viable throughout the visa application period and beyond, investors have been encouraged by recent actions concerning EB-5 projects by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) […]

Marketing the EB-5 Program in India

India has a long history of emigration beginning in colonial times and culminating in the recent migration of educated laborers to the West, Southeast Asia, and the Arabian Gulf. With its booming population and substantial middle class, India currently poses a significant opportunity for EB-5 developers. The Indian Economy In 2013, India was facing its […]

Marketing the EB-5 Program in Latin America

Recent delays in the processing of EB-5 visa petitions from Chinese investors have encouraged regional centers to focus on Latin America as a potential investment source. Despite political and social instability over the past decades, many Latin American countries are now experiencing economic growth, and the United States has emerged as an appealing destination for […]

EB-5 Regional Center Investments for Brazilian EB-5 Investors

The EB-5 Program offers unique opportunities for investors in Brazil to immigrate to the United States. However, despite the fact that Brazil has the largest economy and population in Latin America, few Brazilian EB-5 investors have applied for EB-5 visas over the past years. The reasons for this are twofold: Firstly, the booming economy in […]

Overcoming the Challenges Facing Iranian EB-5 Investors

Although Iranian EB-5 investors currently represent a small percentage of the overall number of EB-5 cases, only 0.7% as of 2014, recent changes brought about by the issuance of a general license by the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) have opened a door for this untapped market. However, immigration attorneys and Iranian investors poised […]

EB-5 Petition Processing Statistics USCIS: Q2 2016

On May 31st, 2016 USCIS released official statistics on current I-526 and I-829 processing through March, 2016 (Q2 of FY2016). I-526 Petition Trends The most recent quarter (Q2 FY2016) showed a substantial decrease in new I-526 filings due to the extraordinarily high number of filings in the previous two quarters. I-526 filings spiked at the […]

EB-5 Petition Filings Stronger than Ever and Growing

EB-5 Petition Filings Stronger than Ever and Growing According to recently released data from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an increased number of EB-5 filings has resulted in a growing backlog of pending petitions. The updated data from USCIS provides numbers for Q1 of FY2016.   Increased Number of I-526 Petitions The record number […]

USCIS Proposed Fee Changes for the Regional Center Program

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently published a notice on proposed changes to USCIS’ fee schedule for the EB-5 Regional Center Program.  Key Highlights of the Proposed USCIS Fee Changes:  Annual Form I-924A Filing: $3,035 fee – – Additional new fee for all existing Regional Centers Form I-924 Application Filing: Increase from $6,230 to $17,795 – […]

Secrets to Bringing an EB-5 Project to Market

The EB5Investors conference in Las Vegas in January, 2016 had 800+ attendees and was the largest EB-5 gathering in US history. One of our founding partners, Mike Schoenfeld, participated on the EB-5 Myth-busters panel. This was a panel geared at newer members of the industry and the content was focused on helping participants understand the […]

Should you file an I-924 “Exemplar” Petition before September 30th?

Since the introduction on June 3, 2015 of the bipartisan American Job Creation and Investment Promotion Reform Act by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) the Grassley / Leahy Bill, there is increased discussion on whether potential projects should file an I-924 “exemplar” petition prior to September 30th, 2015, the date on which […]

Why are Hotel Projects so Popular for EB5 Regional Centers?

Why are Hotel Construction Projects so Popular for EB5 Regional Centers? New hotel construction is one of the most popular types of EB5 regional center investment today. The reasons behind this relate to the two primary goals for EB5 investors: (1) Obtaining a Visa (with the highest chance of it becoming permanent) and (2) Return of Investment Principal […]

Updated Processing Times from USCIS

USCIS updated the processing times for the Immigrant Investor Program Office on February 11, 2015. The processing times are slightly longer than previous figures: 14 months for I-526 Petitions. 11.4 Months for I-829 Petitions. 11.1 months for I-924 Applications. The processing times can be accessed at the following link: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do

Implications of EB-5 Visa Retrogression

While the mechanics of visa retrogression on a per-country basis are complex, the reality is that there are only 10,000 visas available in the EB-5 category each USCIS fiscal year. Since an average of approximately two family members apply alongside each investor, USCIS can approve 3,300 EB-5 visas each fiscal year. However, as of May […]

Impact of Current EB-5 Processing Times

On October 24, 2014, USCIS released an updated EB-5 Processing Report of average processing times for the Immigrant Investor Program Office as of August 31, 2014. This recent report indicates that current average processing times are 13.8 months for Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Entrepreneur); 7.2 months for Form I-829 (Petition by Entrepreneur to […]

Targeted Employment Areas

Getting an EB-5 project a targeted employment area (TEA) designation can be incredibly important for EB-5 investors. The required EB-5 investment amount is lowered from $1 million to $500,000 if the EB-5 project is conducted in a targeted employment area.

EB-5 in the Capital Structure

The EB-5 program allows for the flexible use of the investment funds. It can serve as equity funding or serve as junior, unsecured mezzanine debt. EB-5 funding is ideal for filling in the typical

EB-5 China Market Landscape

In the past year we have seen a significant spike in new entrants to the EB-5 market in China. With USCIS I-526 times projected to decrease, the number of potential projects for which EB-5 capital could work has largely increased.

USCIS May 2014 Call Transcript

Prepared Remarks of Nicholas Colucci, Chief, Immigrant Investor Program, USCIS USCIS投资移民项目主任Nicholas Colucci发言稿 Prepared Remarks of Nicholas Colucci Nicholas Colucci发言稿