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How will the recent announcement from USCIS of the Vietnamese EB-5 backlog impact my application?

I am a Vietnamese investor who filed my I-526 in Dec of 2016 and it is still pending. I noticed today that in the newest Visa Bulletin, the “Final Action Dates for Employment-based Preferences Cases,” shows that only Vietnam born investors whose applications were filed before July 22, 2014 will be authorized visa numbers. What does this mean? Even after my I-526 gets approved, will I still need to wait for my priority date to become current until I can file my I-485? How long may this wait be?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, it means you will have to wait. How long you wait depends on how many EB-5 applicants there are from Vietnam.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It looks like as of May 2018, Vietnamese nationals processing for permanent residency through EB-5 will have to wait to file for the last step (I-485) of green card processing, until their priority date becomes current. If your priority date is December 2016, based on the current processing timeline, you may have to wait a year and a half for your priority date to be current to file the I-485. But this can change depending on the oversubscription of the Vietnamese employment fifth preference category.

  • Avatar

    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    What it means is that the visa office is putting the brakes on in order to gauge the total number of EB-5 applicants from Vietnam. You will still keep your place in line and, given the fact that it is taking some time to go through the regular process, you may not be delayed that much given your December 2016 priority date. Yes, you will be waiting for the priority date to be current before you can file your application for adjustment of status. It is hard to estimate, but I would think it would be less than a year before your number becomes available. While it is true that with regards to the final action dates for Vietnam, there is a backlog to July 22, 2014, it is just a mechanism to slow down the issuance of visa numbers. In fact, Vietnam is current for filing visa applications based on an approved I-526 petition.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You cannot file your I-485 until you have a current priority date. Based on the May Visa Bulletin, you will need to wait two years and five months before you have a current priority date. Also, there can be forward movement or retrogression of the cut-off dates.

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    Mark AM Catam, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Because of the July 22, 2014, cut off date (as of May 2018), you would have to wait for your priority date (December 2016) to appear on the Visa Bulletin before you can process the green card at the consulate (or if you''re currently in the U.S. to adjust status). The U.S. State Department publishes the cut-off date on a monthly basis.

  • Avatar

    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Each year, the EB-5 visa category gets 10,000 visas, which includes main investors and their family visas. Furthermore, each country gets 7 percent of those 10,000 visas per year, which is 700 visas. Again, this includes investors as well as their families, which means roughly 400 investors for each country. Because not every country has several hundred investors each year, the leftover visas will be allocated to other countries'' investors per their priority dates (when I-526 was filed). This year was the first year where Vietnamese investors ran out of their visa quota this early. Whether this will be repeated every year or more than one year at a time depends on how many investor petitions (I-526) are pending at USCIS. Please note that U.S. government has its fiscal year starting on October of every year. This means another new 10,000 visas will be available on Oct. 1, 2018. Thus, there may be a good chance that you will have visas available to file the AOS after October, if your 2016-filed I-526 is approved.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The institution of an immigrant visa number cut-off date for Vietnamese-born investors has been anticipated for some time. Even after your I-526 petition is approved, you will need to wait for your priority date to become current before you can file your I-485, assuming you are still in the United States in a valid nonimmigrant status or, if not, before you can move to the next stage, which is immigrant visa processing at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. It is difficult to predict how long the wait for Vietnamese-born EB-5 investors will be. More data and more time is needed to see how quickly the cut-off date will advance in the coming months. Since there are far fewer EB-5 investors from Vietnam compared to China, one might reasonably expect the Vietnam cut-off date to advance more rapidly than the China cut-off date.

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You will have to wait on your priority date for a visa to become available to you.

  • Avatar

    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you will have to wait on filing I-485 until your visa priority date becomes current. Starting in May 2018, only those nationals of Vietnam whose I-526s were filed prior to July 2014 can apply for IVs or file for adjustment. It is likely that the visa availability date (currently July 2014) will advance significantly in October 2018, when new visas become available to Vietnamese nationals.

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