The EB-5 backlog for China-born investors will cause pain
throughout the EB-5 program; investors and family members,
regional centers and developers will all suffer.
Since the establishment of the EB-5 program in 1990, applicants never used all 10,000 available EB-5 visas until fiscal year
2014 (Oct. 1, 2013 to Sept. 30, 2014). In that fiscal year, the
world used the entire quota just before the fiscal year expired.1
Even though investors born in China used the lion’s share of
the 10,000 visas, the worldwide quota was reached so close to
the end of that fiscal year that no immediate impact was felt.
Starting in fiscal year 2015, however, investors from China are
expected to face a persistent backlog going forward.
Specifically, Charles Oppenheim, chief of the Immigrant Visa
Control and Reporting Division of the U.S. Department of State,
announced the potential repercussions of this unprecedented
demand for EB-5 visas during a conference presentation at an
EB-5 event in San Francisco on Oct. 24, 2014. In his address,
Oppenheim predicted that around June 2015 the DOS will issue
a Visa Bulletin with an EB-5 cut-off date of around July 2013 for
mainland China-born applicants.2
Oppenheim also explained that, if the law does not change,
the China EB-5 visa cut-off is expected to remain in place
indefinitely—and that the backlog will grow steadily longer
over time. Specifically, he estimated that once the backlog is
established in mid-2015, the line will move forward only about
six to eight months every year. For example, in mid-2015, the
line will be about two years long; by mid-2016, the line will be
about two and a half years long; by mid-2017, the line will be
about three years long, etc.
United States. Department of State. Visa Services. 23 Aug. 2014. .
Oppenheim made this prediction whil