For fiscal year 2021, USCIS has allocated the highest number of employment-based visas ever, including 18,567 to EB-5 applicants, according to a new report released by the Congressional Research Service. Normally, about 10,000 visas – or 7.1% or all employment-based visas – are given to EB-5 investors and their dependents. Of those, about 80% are issued to investors from Asia with nearly 46% to Mainland China- natives in 2019.
With the increasing number of received I-829 petitions, the end of the third quarter of 2020 had 10,332 pending I-829 petitions to remove conditions on their green card status. As of April 2020, more than 24,000 approved EB-5 petitions were still waiting on visa availability. Of them 98% were Chinese natives.
The most common pathway for EB-5 is through the Regional Center program, which currently is up for EB-5 regional center reauthorization on June. 30, 2021. More than 96% of issued EB-5 visas in fiscal year 2019 used this route. The number of approved regional centers has grown from 11 in 2017 to 674 in 2020.