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What are the details of the EB-5 waiting list?

When people mention the "waiting list," are they referring to the time before their I-526 is processed or is there a wait time from when their I-526 is approved to when they get a conditional green card?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The waiting list is for mainland China-born nationals who must wait for their immigrant visas to become current before they can apply for adjustment of status (if in the U.S., in another lawful immigration status) or consular process to receive an immigrant visa abroad after approval of their I-526 petitions.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The "waiting list" primarily refers to the backlog under the quota, but there are two forms of "waiting lists." When an investor makes up his or her mind and eventually an EB-5 Investor Petition is filed on his or her on Form I-526 with the USCIS, it will take a year or longer before the petition reaches the adjudicator desk for review and adjudication. That "waiting list" is simply a byproduct of the fact that there are more petitions filed on a regular basis than USCIS adjudicators can keep up with. A more serious "waiting list" that exists currently is the one for Chinese nationals under the annual 10,000-visa quota for the EB-5 program. While the annual quota is 10,000, that includes immediate family members. So, the actual number of immigrant visas that can be issued to EB-5 investors is closer to 4,000. Given the per-country caps of 7% and the significant number of petitions that have been filed by EB-5 investors from China, there is a growing backlog under the EB-5 quota that could be as long as 10 years or even longer. It is the hope of immigration attorneys who represent EB-5 investors and regional centers and related projects that the U.S. Congress will, in the near future, enact legislation that will remove the requirement of the State Department that dependents be counted against the annual 10,000-visa quota. If so, this would significantly reduce the backlog for Chinese petitioners.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Usually, people are referring to the waiting line for mainland Chinese born applicants. This is published by the Department of State and is known as a Visa Bulletin. Presently, most China-born nationals who applied in June 2014 are eligible for final green card interviews in August 2017.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If they are from China, the Priority Date will not be current after the I-526 is approved. So, they get put on a waiting list.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is a wait time for the processing the I-526 by USCIS, which currently is about 18-20 months on the average. There is also a wait time for mainland China born investors after the I-526 is approved because the visa quota for the Immigration visa application or adjustment status application is backlogged currently by 3 years and will be lengthened due to so many petitions pending at USCIS. The Ombudsman report projects a wait as long as 10 years for Chinese investors.

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    Anthony Korda

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I-526 Petitions are currently taking an average of 18 months to be approved. Once approved, as this is an immediate visa category, all Petitioners (except nationals born in Mainland China) will be able to apply for a visa or (if lawfully present in the U.S.) adjust status. Those born in Mainland China, however, are subject to visa wait times. This can delay their visa/adjustment applications significantly - by several years. At this time, such visa wait times (in EB-5 Cases) only apply to Chinese nationals.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    For certain country nationals, there is a waiting period for their Priority Dates to be current, after the I-526 Petition approval, before they can submit their immigrant visa or adjustment of status application. This may be what you are referring to as the "waiting list."

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    They could mean either. Depends on the context. Most of the time they mean the quota waiting list, which only comes into play after the EB-5 is approved.

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