I heard many people are talking about the price increase of EB-5 in November. I want to apply but I do not want to be stuck in the backlog. Given the current number of applications, how long does it take an investor from India to get an EB-5 visa if he or she applies now? After the minimum requirement for investment increases in November, could Indian investors expect the waiting line to be shorter since there might be fewer new investors applying?
The waiting period for Indian national has been getting longer of late, even skipping into a retrogression-like procedure. It can take a good 18 to 24 months for an I-526 petition. If you are in the U.S., upon approval you can file for I-485 immediately because the visa is current. Invariably, after two years you can proceed to file I-829. So, if you count all the time intervals, you are looking at the possibility of waiting for five years, if not more, depending on other factors, such as your subscription agreement.
Hard to guess. You can monitor the State Department' Visa Bulletin for an estimate.
The current waiting line for EB-5 investors from India is approximately eight or nine years.
The current priority date for persons born in India is Sept. 1, 2017, which means that persons who filed their I-526 petitions on or before then are eligible to obtain green cards in September. The backlog is expected to get longer. If you apply now, it could take several years, although that could change to less time if pending legislation is passed. Regarding the question about after the minimum requirement for investment increases in November, could Indian investors expect the waiting line to be shorter since there might be fewer new investors applying: It will not eliminate those in front of you, which is why there is a line for EB-5 green cards, but the line behind you will get shorter. The waiting line is still decades less than EB-2 or EB-3.
Everyone will be "stuck" in the backlog, as you say. The length of the wait depends on your place in line, so waiting until the investment amount increases does not improve your position in line, as you will come after everyone who is filing now. The DOS does not know how long it will take to obtain a GC for Indian nationals in EB-5, but likely 4-plus years.
There is no perfect answer as to how long it will take for an India-born applicant to get a green card. While some claim that it should take eight to nine years, we believe that it should not be more than four to five years. Firstly, even though India-born applicants are subject to retrogression, as a practical matter, I wonder how serious that is. Today, for countries that are not subject to retrogression, I-526 approval is taking 24 months, if not longer. USCIS is posting 27.5 to 46.5 months. So, if the current trend of at least 24 months continues, the priority date of Sept. 1, 2017, does not seem to be too far off. Nov. 21, 2019, on the other hand, is very real. The new regulations that are supposed to go in effect were published in the Federal Register, so you certainly have a lot to gain by trying to make the deadline rather than waiting it out. Once the minimum investment amounts are increased and the definition of which geographic jurisdictions qualify for TEA and which ones do not, is altered, you are correct in predicting that the number of applications from all over the world should drop. And, yes this should certainly help clear the backlog.
The wait will never be shorter or cheaper. The sooner you file the better. It could be five to six years or longer until Congress increases the quota. This still be the fastest and only way to immigrate.
In May 2019 Mr. Oppenheim estimated the waiting line for a person from India to be about 8.4 years. Of course, it could be much shorter if Congress fixes the problem.
The Visa Bulletin for September 2019 is 2017 for Indians, so it will take two years or more.
Current processing times for the I-526 are two to four years.
DISCLAIMER: the information found on this website is intended to be general information; it is not legal or financial advice. Specific legal or financial advice can only be given by a licensed professional with full knowledge of all the facts and circumstances of your particular situation. You should seek consultation with legal, immigration, and financial experts prior to participating in the EB-5 program. Posting a question on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. All questions you post will be available to the public: do not include confidential information in your question.