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When could there be an EB-5 retrogression for Indian applicants?

I am an Indian national ready to file my I-526 petition. I heard that Indian applicants might face retrogression before June 2019. Although I have read about an increase in applications from India, I did not think the numbers were large enough for this verdict. Is retrogression likely to happen for Indian nationals in the near future? Does this mean longer waiting times as opposed to the expected 24 months? How long should I anticipate?

Answers

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An immigrant visa number cut-off date is likely to be added to Indian-born applicants in the near future. It is important to recognize that an I-526 priority date is established on the date the petition is filed with USCIS. Therefore, even if there is a two-year waiting period for an immigrant visa number based on the Visa Bulletin, that priority date is likely to be current when the petition is approved by USCIS because of the agency's long processing time for I-526 petitions (two years). The problem arises when there are several years in a row of high demand from a particular country, such that the State Department must "retrogress" the cut-off date so that the U.S. government does not exceed the total number of EB-5 green cards issued in a given fiscal year (10,000) or that it does not exceed the per country limit (7.1 percent of the total) during the same time period.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, it is possible that India may reach retrogression if the number of petitions continues to surge. In addition, it is hard to anticipate how long the waiting period will be.

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    Robert West

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Impossible to say at this point.

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    Mark AM Catam, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The U.S. State Department releases the cut-off dates monthly. So far, it has not indicated any cut-off dates for India; however, depending on the surge of cases from India, this could very well change. Regardless, I-526 will still be processed, on average, within 24 months.

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    Shenila A Momin

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    When and if there is a retrogression is hard to determine. Although there is speculation, generally we find out 15 to 20 days prior to any retrogression. Retrogression can happen anytime and the dates can be pushed back by a few days to several years. So far, there is no sign of an actual retrogression for Indians for EB-5, but it is possible since the EB-1 is also being retrogressed. Generally, I have seen that when retrogression happens, the first indicator is that it will happen towards the end of the Department of Homeland Security's fiscal period around July. Then the dates get back to current when the new quota opens up in October and slowly the retrogression will start creeping up to earlier than the summer and so on. This is the pattern that happened with EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3s. I would advise you to file the I-526 as soon as possible.

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The U.S. Department of State controls that information. We have no way of knowing the answer to your question.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Impossible to anticipate. Each country gets 7 percent of the allotted visas for that category, so it depends on how many are ahead of you.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You are correct that the possibility of retrogression for Indian nationals is somewhat a surprise. What that means is the sooner you file, the sooner you will get ahead of the line. Under these circumstances, if you wish to immigrate to the U.S. through the EB-5 investor program, there would be no advantage to waiting. Remember, when you file your EB-5 investor petition on Form I-526, you establish your place in line under the quota. t will take a year and a half to two years before you will be eligible to apply for your immigrant visa in any event, given the current processing time. Thus, your waiting period may not be as long as one might anticipate, but the only thing that you can control is the date you file your petition. Thus, if you wish to immigrate to the U.S. and the EB-5 route is your only legal option, then you should file as soon as possible.

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    Irina Rostova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Retrogression for Indian nationals has already started. A realistic expected additional wait time for nationals of India who apply today will be at least five years.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Charlie Oppenheim, the U.S. Department of State''s immigrant visa control and reporting division chief, made a 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. There are no such rumors regarding India that we are aware of.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The petition processing time is one issue. Expect two to three years for that. The bigger issue is when your visa becomes "available." Expect about five years until you get an interview, unless demand drops off because of an increase in the investment amount. There are many other variables that can impact this retrogression time guestimate, based on over-demand.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The person at the U.S. Department of State who controls the movement of the immigrant visa numbers spoke at a conference last week. He stated that retrogression for EB-5 applicants from India will likely be needed by no later than June 2019. This seems to indicate that retrogression for EB-5 applicants will be coming sometime in 2019, but this will not likely occur soon in 2018. The retrogression would not affect the processing time of I-526 petitions by USCIS. However, the retrogression will force EB-5 investors from India who have an approved I-526 petition to wait before they can proceed on the immigrant visa process.

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