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How should an Indian investor weigh his options between EB-5 and EB-2?

I am an Indian native. I have an existing EB-2 application with a priority date of December 2016. Due to the long wait of EB-2, I am now considering my options with the EB-5 program. I understand that there is a backlog for Indian natives under the EB-5 category as well, but I am not sure if the wait could be shorter than that of my EB-2 case. How long do I have to wait until I get an EB-5-based green card if I submit my application now? Could I get a green card through EB-2 sooner than through EB-2?

Answers

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Based on the current Visa Bulletin on both visas, as an Indian national you are likely to get EB-5 before EB-2. This has been a consistent fact for quite some time. For instance, speaking of retrogression, EB-2 remains in mid-2009 for Indians while EB-5 just experienced retrogression to October 2014. There is no indication that EB-2 will get better than EB-5 anytime soon.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An EB-5 green card will likely be a faster route than EB-2, assuming no law changes.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    While this is not a precise science because there are so many variables, EB-5 even at eight years will still be much better than EB-2 with 2016 priority date. Only those with 2012 priority dates may find it faster to wait for the EB-2.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Difficult to predict since further retrogression of visa numbers and delays can happen to either EB-2 and/or EB-5 at any given month. You can keep both petitions filed and go forward with whichever is quicker in terms priority date when it is time for the next step in processing.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The priority date for EB-5 is Oct. 15, 2014. But EB-2 is 2009. Most likely EB-5 is faster.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your question cannot be answered with exactness, but an EB-5 green card will come sooner than an EB-2 one (assuming all laws remain the same).

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    With EB-2 dates back to 2009, you can think of EB-5 (I assume you can be working in the U.S. under H-1B in the meantime?). EB-5 petitions are taking anywhere from one to four years to process (depending on the regional center project), and the backlog is currently only at about five years (which, as you know, is based on the original filing date, not the approval date, meaning that many of those years could be eaten up by the I-526 processing time you have to wait on anyway). If EB-5 retrogresses further, as some expect, then you are basically in the same boat as EB-2, but if it does hold, it's likely you could get through the EB-5 a little faster.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I would predict that EB-5 would be faster, but this not certain. You better hurry, as the amount of a TEA or rural application investment is going up from $500,000 to $900,000 in November!

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I don't know off-hand and no one can predict future movement of the respective categories. You are allowed to have both pending.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    It is very hard to tell with accuracy. However, if you look at the final action dates for EB-2 visas for India-born nationals, the Visa Bulletin for August 2019 is showing May 2, 2009. By contrast, the EB-5 is showing Oct. 15, 2014. And we all know that once the new quotas for EB-5 will be announced in October that date will move to around May 1, 2017, the published date in July 2019 Bulletin. It appears like you have a much better chance to get a conditional green card through the EB-5 process than the EB-2.

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    Hassan Elkhalil

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Based on today's processing times and the new development in EB-5 visas, I think you are better off staying with EB-2. However, if you have additional money and wish to create a safety net, you may also apply for the EB-5, but it will take sometimes before you receive your green card, maybe an even longer wait than the EB-2.

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