China EB-5 “Unavailable” for Remainder of FY2014

China EB-5 “Unavailable” for Remainder of FY2014
August 27, 2014

On August 23, 2014, the Department of State announced that effective immediately, the EB-5 investor visa (green card) category became “unavailable” for Chinese applicants. This is a very significant announcement because it is the first time in the history of the EB-5 program that the annual limit of 10,000 EB-5 green cards is close to being reached. Given that EB-5 demand has increased 700% since 2007, this is not a surprise.

 

By making EB-5 green cards unavailable to Chinese applicants through this fiscal year, ending September 30, 2014, the expectation is there will be enough EB-5 green cards for applicants from other countries for the rest of this Fiscal Year (Chinese investors utilize over 80% of all EB-5 green cards).  A new allocation of 10,000 EB-5 visas will be available when fiscal year 2015 starts on October 1, 2014. As a result, the impact this time on Chinese applicants will be short-lived.  However, the Department of State is warning that heavy demand by Chinese applicants will require the establishment of a cut-off date, possibly in May 2015.

 

Cut-off dates are established to create a queue for applicants. Once established, each EB-5 applicant’s priority for receiving a green card will be established by the date his/her I-526 is filed (“priority date”). The later an EB-5 applicant files, the longer the queue will likely be in front of the applicant, and the longer the applicant will have to wait for a green card. Given the ever growing demand for EB-5 green cards, once a queue starts, it may stay permanently and will likely lengthen (unless and until there is a change to the 10,000 limit). One major consequence of having to wait longer include older children of applicants aging-out (becoming too old to receive green cards with their parents).

 

2014财政年度中国EB-5投资移民满额

美国国务院于2014年8月23日宣布2014年度美国投资移民绿卡的中国公民配额达到满额。这项宣布具有重大的意义,因为这是EB-5投资移民史上第一次达到每年10,000个配额满额。然而,这项宣布并未出乎我们意料,因为自从2007年来,EB-5投资移民的需求上升了700%。因此,美国国务院这项宣布是在我们的预料之中。

2014年财政年度(截止日期为2014年9月30日)投资移民绿卡的中国配额满额,也意味着一直到2014年财政年度底,其他国家的投资人应有足够的名额(中国申请人使用了超过80%的全球EB-5名额)。额外的10,000个EB-5投资绿卡名额会在新的财政年度开始(2014年10月1日)重新分配。因此,这次2014年财政年度额满对中国申请人的影响只是短暂的。然而这项宣布不能被忽视,美国国务院再三宣布由于中国申请人对EB-5投资移民绿卡的大量需求,估计在2015年5月开始将会正式设立配额截止日并开始需要长期的排队。

设立截止日的目的是建立申请人取得绿卡的优先顺序。一旦设立截止日,每个投资人拿到绿卡的顺序会取决于该申请人递交材料的日期。投资人越晚递交,所排的队会越长,投资人也必须等候更久才能拿到绿卡。由于EB-5投资移民需求的不断上升,一旦需要开始排队,很可能就会永远需要排队,并且会越排越长(除非移民局提高每年全球10,000个的配额总数)。需要开始排队造成的主要影响包括申请人年长孩子的超龄问题(即申请时未超龄,等到排到队可以拿绿卡时已经超龄)。