I was born in India and I am planning to invest in EB-5 through a regional center. Many Indian agents I talked with told me that there is a great chance that Indian born investors soon will face the same retrogression as Chinese-born investors. They also claim it is highly possible that Vietnam will face the same situation in the foreseeable future. Is this a somewhat tenable prediction or are they just trying to make me invest sooner? How long would the wait be?
At this time, India is currently not subject to a visa backlog under the EB-5 category.
India will likely face an immigrant visa number retrogression. It is not presently anticipated that the waiting line will be as long as the current wait for China Mainland-born nationals. It is highly advisable that you file early now, before the retrogression/waiting line grows longer and before the minimum investment amount is increased either after Sept. 30, 2018, or sooner, if USCIS chooses to implement regulations that increase the investment threshold and how TEAs will be designated along with some other changes.
Neither India nor Vietnam EB-5 petition rates approach the Chinese petitions. It is fair to say that neither of the two countries will experience long delay anytime soon unlike China. However, petitions from Vietnam seems to be growing and may eventually face retrogression like China. The statements from the agents appear to be marketing gimmicks to inspire you to invest sooner.
No one knows. I have not heard about India retrogressing yet but I have heard about the possibility of retrogression for Vietnam
The per country quota is activated when all the allotted visa numbers in any category are used up in one year for EB-5, it is 10,000 visas. Since 10,000 visas include both investors and their family, this number is roughly 3000 investors each year, which we have been exceeding every year for the past 4 years. When this happens, each country gets 7% of the total visas, which is 700 visas per year. This is again roughly 200-300 investors from each country. Vietnam has exceeded this number for the last 2 years as we understand and it will have a hold on the usage of the visas (retrogression) by this summer, which will be lifted on October 1, 2018 until it uses up 700 visas again for the Fiscal year. For India, it has not yet reached 200-300 visa usage yet, but with so many H1B workers investing in EB-5 last year and this year, it could very well reach that within a year or two. Unless Congress will extend the program and increase the visa numbers in EB-5 category or any other employment-based immigration categories, the visa backlogs that countries with a very large number of potential immigrants will continue to exist and worsen.
The U.S. Department of State, Visa Office determines the immigrant visa numbers. Their April Visa Bulletin states that Vietnam EB-5 will definitely be oversubscribed for May 2018. This will result in an immigrant visa backlog for Vietnam EB-5. I have not seen any reports from the U.S. Department of State, Visa Office which suggest that India EB-5 will become oversubscribed in the near future.
U.S. Department of State Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division Chief Charlie Oppenheim made a surprising statement predicting that EB-5 investors from Vietnam, based on a surge in EB-5 immigrant visa demand from that country, would face retrogression by September 2018. No such rumors regarding India that we are aware of.
Vietnam and India likely will be the next two countries facing the possibility of an immigrant visa number cut off date. It is unlikely that the waiting period will be anywhere near the current ten-year wait for China-born EB-5 investors. It does make sense to get your place in line before (1) the waiting period grows to several years (even with a cut off date, it is likely to be less than two years, which is the I-526 processing time anyway) and (2) the minimum investment amount is raised, which could happen in September 2018, when the current regional center authorization sunsets or sooner, if USCIS decides to implement regulations raising the amount.
Vietnam is likely to retrogress; however, IPO has not released info regarding India.
At some point other countries could also face EB-5 retrogression, although India would not in the near term. If you are thinking about doing this though, the safest thing always to do is make your investment decision and file your EB-5 investor petition on Form I-526 as soon as possible. Not only is there the possibility of retrogression at some point, but at some point Congress will also raise the minimum $500,000 investment up by legislation or regulation to as high as $1.8 Million. It is likely that Vietnam will face retrogression before India.
It depends how many people from those countries file.
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