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How can EB-5 investors from China get green cards faster?

The latest news I saw is that new investors from China need to wait at least five to six years in order to obtain a visa. But an immigration agency also just said that I can get an I-526 visa in one to two years. There is a big difference. Which is correct? Is it possible for an investor from China to get an EB-5 visa in under two years? If so, how?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Xiaosheng Huang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Currently, Chinese investors still need to wait for around two years to get the EB-5 visa. And the processing time of the I-526 with USCIS is included in the two year waiting time. Also, the investor can choose to marry a non-Chinese person, and then he/she can apply for the EB-5 visa once the the I-526 application is approved.

  • Avatar

    Abhinav Lohia

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is a difference between getting an I-526 approval and getting a conditional green card. The current average time for I-526 approval is approximately 15 months. However, due to retrogression, Chinese applicants need to wait approximately two to three years after approval to apply for a green card.

  • Avatar

    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The waiting time is now about five to six years. This is due to the high participation of investors from China, which has contributed to a high backlog of cases waiting to be adjudicated.

  • Avatar

    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Somehow convince your friends to not apply - all kidding aside, the availability of visas is based on a set numerical quota and the demand for visas from the foreign country. The EB-5 program has simply been so popular in China that there are no visas available. Only a change in the legislation/laws can increase that quota, and it is unlikely we will see such a change.

  • Avatar

    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The current Visa Bulletin (it is issued monthly) shows about a two year wait for an immigrant visa number for China-born EB-5 applicants, but that really only applies to EB-5 applicants who filed their I-526 petitions two years ago. The USCIS statistics show that there are over 21,000 I-526 petitions pending (currently each member of a family, not just the principal applicant/investor, takes up one immigrant visa number. That means that there is currently about five or six years of demand for immigrant visa numbers for China-born EB-5 investors (and dependents). So, a Chinese EB-5 investor filing an I-526 petition today might have to wait five or six years for an available immigrant visa number unless the annual quota is raised by Congress or the immigrant visa numbers are counted differently by USCIS. This would require either Congressional action or USCIS intervention. Neither appears likely as of the present time.

  • Avatar

    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I believe the waiting period right now is two years+. I do not know of any way to expedite an application.

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The waiting line for persons chargeable to the China quota is presently approaching 27 months, but will likely get much longer. No one can be sure exactly how long it will be as there are so many variables. Based on current pipeline cases, about five years appears to be a realistic wait.

  • Avatar

    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The current Visa Bulletin shows that anyone who filed their I-526 on or before May 1, 2015 may start to file the visa application with the NVC. If this stays the same and moves linearly, then with the I-526 being filed today with a normal processing time of 16 months for I-526 adjudication, one could say you could get the visa within two years. However, there are over 8,000 I-526s filed by Chinese applicants pending at USCIS. In order to clear that kind of backlog, a more accurate assessment of when a Chinese investor could obtain a visa is five to six years.

  • Avatar

    Robert Cornish

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    There are a limited number of high human need projects in TEAs that may, if so approved by USCIS, provide for expedited treatment. These are not loan deals and are meant for things such as drug treatment centers in low income areas. If you do not mind making that kind of investment without the loan aspect, such a project may be worth consideration.

  • Avatar

    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You are correct - if you were born in the People's Republic of China, you must wait for the visa to be available and it is in excess of two years at present. There is no way to speed up this process at this point. However, remember your priority date is the date you apply so the sooner you file your application, the sooner your immigrant visa will be available.

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    Raymond Lahoud

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, unfortunately, one must wait for the visa priority numbers to become current.

  • Avatar

    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can explore with immigration counsel if you might be eligible for an L-1 and multinational executive green card if you have a business in China and are willing to open a related business in the United States.

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