EB-5 No-Reform Act, RC List Changes

On Friday, IIUSA reported that “Yesterday IIUSA met with Republican negotiators and received draft legislative text that is being proposed for inclusion on the March 23rd Congressional omnibus package… We expect the House to vote the omnibus out of the chamber as early as March 16, allowing the Senate the entire week of March 19 to pass the measure before government funding expires on Friday, March 23…. the current debate over what policy provisions to include in the FY18 omnibus spending package provides one of the few, if not the only, opportunity to secure a long-term EB-5 reauthorization.”

With three years to work on drafting EB-5 legislation, why did Congressional negotiators keep this most recent EB-5 bill hidden until the very last minute, and provide even IIUSA only a few hours to read it and respond? Possibly because this “Immigrant Investor Visa and Regional Center Program Comprehensive Reform Act” is a tissue of minority hand-outs, declawed reforms, poison pills, and half-baked good ideas. We’re to conclude “This is our last chance to get significant regional center program authorization, and it’s too late to make changes now, so we have to support this, no matter the details.”  I understand, but oh those details. I am ashamed of this bill, and on behalf of the people behind it. How did years of negotiation produce this document? The media, pro-reform lawmakers, and the good proportion of EB-5 stakeholders left out of compromises will not be kind to those who drafted this bill, if it passes as-is.

The EB-5 Reform Act has a few generally-favorable provisions:

  • It would reauthorize the regional center program to 2023
  • It would add some flexibility for material change, and some protection for investors in projects that don’t work out
  • It would make some process improvements

The EB-5 Reform Act is lobbying money well-spent for a few:

    • The TEA reform in this bill is calculated to avoid unduly incentivizing investment in distressed areas. In three years of EB-5 legislative proposals, each version has had a softer TEA proposal than the last. This one reduces the monetary incentive to a hair, compensates with incentives that will either be impotent/unrealizable in practice (visa set-asides, premium processing) or positively counterproductive (lower jobs requirement for needy areas?), broadens the definitions of what qualifies as an urban distressed or rural area (e.g. switching from the NMTC “severe distress” criteria in previous proposals to just the NMTC low-income criteria, and no specified limit on gerrymandering), and adds new incentivized areas for a special few (closed military bases, U.S. territories, infrastructure, franchise investment funds). Congress was originally energized for EB-5 reform because they didn’t like seeing most EB-5 dollars flowing to already well-capitalized projects in already well-capitalized areas. That status quo has little to fear from this legislation. Luxury real estate will keep its top spot if this passes, and we’ll still have Chuck Grassley and the media shaking their fists.
    • The bill offers real estate projects an extra gift for good measure: construction jobs can be aggregated and counted as qualifying direct permanent jobs regardless of duration.
    • The integrity provisions in this bill are calculated to avoid making life difficult. Gone are the suggestions in past bills about involving third parties in oversight or reporting or requiring account transparency or fund administration. Here, integrity measures focus on internal certifications of compliance to the best of the certifier’s knowledge. That’s good for honest players who can do without burdensome and intrusive regulation, but also little limit on bad players happy to self-report compliance. Such teeth as the bill has — site visits, audits, background checks, termination threat — are largely things IPO is doing already, though I’m sure they’d appreciate the official authorization and extra funding. But generally, I’m not sure this bill will satisfy lawmakers who wanted EB-5 reform to combat fraud.
    • The bill retains integrity measures that conveniently double as anti-competitive measures. The bill keeps a previously proposed annual regional center fee – lowering the amount for the largest regional centers and keeping it high for the smallest. It is more severe than previous proposals on involvement by anyone with foreign government connection at any level, even in providing non-EB-5 capital to a job-creating entity.
    • UPDATE: Re-reading more carefully, I see that I’m wrong about this one. The bill says that for four months after enactment, no one can file I-526 except for new investors in in-progress raises with an approved examplar. The bill even attempts to set aside 7,000 visas for these privileged investors, forgetting that the numerical limit for 2018 visas was already exceeded back in 2014.

Here’s who will be most upset, if the EB-5 Reform Act passes:

  • The approximately 92,000 people in line for an EB-5 visa. These people are already in for a long wait with an annual quota of about 10,000 visas, and the EB-5 reform act has set-asides that would reduce generally-available visa numbers to about 6,900 per year. The situation will be especially bad for people from China, Vietnam, and possibly India. Those people already in line didn’t plan to wait 17 years or so for conditional green cards — and neither did the projects accepting their investment. The bill does not include on-purpose retroactivity (it doesn’t make TEA, investment amount, or job creation changes apply to people who already filed I-526), but past investors will be severely affected by the visa set-asides, and potentially by new restrictions that affect regional centers and investment projects.
  • Those hoping to raise EB-5 funds to benefit projects in rural or distressed urban areas. The new incentives are not better designed to benefit them than the current incentive structure. The new regional center fees and requirements are well-designed to put anyone out of business who isn’t raising funds from hundreds of investors for prosperous urban projects.
  • Entrepreneurs planning to file EB-5 petitions in the near future for their own enterprises, and any regional centers planning to raise funds for a project without a pre-approved exemplar. The bill has a 120-day moratorium on filing new I-526 and I-924, followed by a transition period from day 121 to day 365 that limits the petitions that can be processed.
  • The Investor Program Office. This legislation will be tough to interpret and implement. USCIS will have to figure out provisions that the bill hardly explains: the franchise investment fund idea, the provision that I-829 petitions based on investment in unrealized/failed projects are to remain valid, the new amendment and re-petition processes, the provisions that imply retroactive new requirements for past projects, and the effects on direct EB-5. The bill stipulates a 120-day transition period, during which USCIS can come up with new regulations and policy, new forms and supporting processes, a new TEA designation process, and a new premium processing option. Hahahahaha. 120 months would be more plausible, considering past experience.
  • Regional centers with fewer than 20 investors annually. They’ll face a $10,000 annual fee and a list of new compliance certifications that will be hard work if taken seriously.
  • EB-5 projects with any foreign-government-entity-related funds in the capital stack, or personnel at any level.

End of rant. If I wake up tomorrow to find that this has been attached to the House version of the new omnibus spending bill, then I shall transition to learning to live with it. And polish my resume, perhaps.

In the meantime, USCIS approved a bunch of new regional centers. Probably most of these applicants filed I-924 back in 2015, little thinking what they’d be up against today!

Additions to the USCIS Regional Center List, 02/02/2018 to 03/05/2018.

47 regional centers have been added.

  • AHRC GA, LLC (Georgia)
  • All American Investment Holdings, LLC (California)
  • Ameri-Link Northeast Regional Center, LLC (California, New Jersey, New York)
  • American Citizen Regional Center – Southern California LLC (California)
  • American Equity Fund California, LLC (California)
  • American Equity Fund, LLC (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania)
  • Avista Regional Center, LLC (Florida, Georgia)
  • BC Southeast Regional Center, LLC (Florida)
  • BC West Coast Regional Center, LLC (California)
  • Bay Area Community Regional Center, LLC (California)
  • CMB Hawaii Regional Center, LLC (Hawaii): www.cmbeb5visa.com
  • Carolina EB-5 Regional Center, LLC (North Carolina)
  • Chicago Golden Pacific, LLC (Illinois): www.usgoldenpacific.com
  • EB-5 Inc Regional Center, LLC (Florida)
  • EB5 Texas Investment Group LLC (Texas)
  • East Coast Prime Regional Center, LLC (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania)
  • Education Fund SC Regional Center, LLC (Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas): edufundamerica.com
  • Gateway America Regional Center (New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania)
  • Green Mountains Regional Center, LLC (New Hampshire, Vermont)
  • Happy Family USA Regional Center (California, Nevada): www.hfeb5.net
  • Hawaii Investor Regional Center Corp. (Hawaii)
  • LJHB Perpetual, LLC (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia)
  • Landmark Regional Center, LLC (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York)
  • Manhattan CBD Development Regional Center, LLC (New York)
  • Mid-America Renaissance Regional Center, LLC (Kansas, Missouri)
  • NYC Liberty Green Regional Center, LLC (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania)
  • New York City EB-5, LLC (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania): www.americaneconomicgrowthfund.com/nyceb5
  • New York City Transportation Regional Center LLC (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York)
  • OMS Group, LLC (North Carolina, South Carolina)
  • Omaha Old Market Regional Center LLC (Iowa, Nebraska)
  • Pacific West Economic and Development Center LLLP (California, Nevada)
  • Phoenix & Dragon LLC (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island)
  • Phoenix Pacific LLC (Washington)
  • Prime Capital, LLC (California)
  • RW EB-5 Regional Center, LLC (Nevada)
  • Real Estate Development Center of America LLC (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee): redcoaregionalcenter.com
  • Redwood Regional Center, LLC (Oregon, Washington)
  • Roundhay Partners Regional Center, LLC (California)
  • Serendipity Regional Center, LLC (California)
  • Smith Delta Regional Center, LLC (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee)
  • SoCal Global Regional Center, LLC (California)
  • South Florida Real Estate and Infrastructure Regional Center LLC (Florida)
  • SunCapital Texas Regional Center (Texas)
  • The Harbor Bank Community Development Capital RC (District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia)
  • WRCI California Regional Center, Inc. (California, Nevada)
  • Zephyrus Regional Center LLC (Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington)


  • EB5 Affiliate Network State of Texas Regional Center, LLC (Texas) into EB5 Affiliate Network States of Texas and Louisiana Regional Center, LLC (Louisiana, Texas

Finally restored to the approved list, after AAO sustained its termination appeal:

  • Path America Sonoco, LLC (Washington)

New Terminations:

  • Omega Puerto Rico Regional Center, LLC (Puerto Rico)
  • Southwest Kansas Regional Center (Kansas)
  • EB5 Memphis Regional Center, LLC (Tennessee)
  • New Orleans’ Mayor’s Office RC (Louisiana)
  • Diversified Global Investment, LLC (Georgia)


About Suzanne (www.lucidtext.com)
Suzanne Lazicki is a business plan writer, EB-5 expert, and founder of Lucid Professional Writing.

84 Responses to EB-5 No-Reform Act, RC List Changes

  1. Vivek says:

    How does it impact the people who have already filed for I-526? It would be helpful to understand in the language which simple investor can understand as sometimes we are not able to clearly understand the technical terms. Thx

    • I will try to do this when I have time, but it will take awhile, as this is complicated. As I mentioned in my post, the bill apparently does not intend to retroactively affect people who already filed I-526. The question is which of its provisions would have retroactive effect in practice. For example, the visa set-asides would make fewer visas generally available thus increasing wait times. A few new limits on projects (e.g. no foreign government entity involvement, no publicly-available bonds) would apparently affect projects even if investors previously committed to them, thus making the projects retroactively ineligible and affecting investors accordingly. But it’s not all clear, at least to me. You may find this webinar helpful https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5601482168196478209

      • Vivek says:

        Thx a lot for replying. Looking forward to your post whenever you will have time.

      • Geeta says:

        Hi Suzanne,

        Can you please explain on the term “no publicly-available bonds”.
        The project we are looking at, has a wording where the loanee gives out bonds/repays money at end of the loan period. (This is a loan based project) and this is choice of loanee.
        The loanee has publicly available bonds in the market.
        Just wanted to understand if this makes the project ineligible.


      • “(C) PROHIBITION ON USE OF FUNDS FOR PUBLICLY AVAILABLE BONDS.— The Secretary shall ensure that alien investor capital may not be utilized, by a new commercial enterprise or otherwise, to purchase municipal bonds or any other bonds, if such bonds are available on the same terms and conditions to the general public, either as part of a primary offering or from a secondary market. Nothing herein shall be interpreted to restrict a job creating entity from using bonds, be they publicly available or privately placed, to finance a capital investment project in which a new commercial enterprise also invests alien investor capital.”

      • Ash K says:

        Hi Geeta,
        Are you referring to the DVRC project? I am currently invested in that project, If you search around on the web, the “PROHIBITION ON USE OF FUNDS FOR PUBLICLY AVAILABLE BONDS” has been doing the rounds for the past few years and USCIS has been actively discouraging projects that invest directly into bonds, unlike the dvrc model. Search for the 520 bridge eb-5 project to see an example of that type of project financing being prohibited. Good luck.

      • Geeta says:

        Thanks Suzanne for the info.
        Thanks for all your efforts in highlighting the EB5 news
        Yes Ash, I was referring to DVRC, and thanks for your inputs too.

      • Geeta says:

        Is there any social networking group like whatsapp or Facebook you are aware of, for all the DVRC investors or EB5 investors.
        Not sure if this is a platform to inquire on this


      • Ash K says:

        Hi Raj, I don’t know of any groups, most of my research was done through my own scouting, my lawyer in the US and Suzanne’s Blog, which has been so helpful, it’s my goto site for the past 2.5 years.

        There is some member below, who is collecting numbers to start a group, kjohri@gmail, i have requested to join his/her group.

      • Does the prohibition on “pubicly-available bonds” countermand the latest USCIS policy memo that specifically says EB-5 funds may be redeployed (in the event of long visa wait times causing investors to stay in projects until after they have been completed or refinanced) into municipal bonds? Because that seemed like a fair resolution to the redeployment issue.

      • Teddy says:

        Thanks Suzanne for being such an excellent resource in the field.
        Question: Does this proposition pertain to projects directly investing investor money to publicly-available bonds or also will affect projects which are primary infrastructure projects but have a pay back option in form of bonds?
        Also thanks Geeta and Ash K for your input. I am referring to DVRC, which is really an infra-structure project and happens to have bonds as a payback option.
        Thanks in anticipation.

      • I quoted in a comment above the only language in the bill restricting bonds. I’m not an expert, but it seems to only limit using investor capital to purchase bonds, not other ways in which bonds might be connected with an EB-5 project.

      • Teddy says:

        Thanks for a prompt reply.
        If you’re not an expert, then no one is 🙂 The amount of work and efforts you’ve put in is extra-ordinary.

  2. Derek fox says:


  3. Investor says:

    Many people chose EB-5 because they believe that the U.S. is a “nation with democracy, trust, and high level of ethics”. They come to the U.S. for its “American value”. Now, the U.S. lobbyists just taught them a real lesson that American value does have exceptions.

    • I know… I felt so much better about being an American before my work forced me to look into the Washington D.C. sausage factory! I keep reminding myself, though, that incompetence is always an alternative explanation to conspiracy. Maybe the negotiators honestly thought visa set-asides are a good incentive, based on simple ignorance of the backlog that would be devastated by the provision and also make the incentive impotent in practice. Maybe they didn’t mean to force this through at the last minute, but were simply slow and didn’t get any work product done ’til just now. Maybe they didn’t mean to hurt small regional centers and direct EB-5, but just forgot about them. But this aligns so neatly with lobbying dollars that it’s easy to suspect conspiracy.

  4. Frustrated says:


    If the visa set-asides go through, how long do you think the Chinese investors would have to wait in the general queue? Also, how will the set-asides affect when Indian and Vietnamese investors will bump against visa quota, and how long they will have to wait? (I guess one totally unknown variable for Indian/Vietnamese would be how many new investors will join the queue at USD 1 million each.)

    But any preliminary estimates from you will be helpful. Thanks

    • As a start, see the comment by “Happy” (whose spreadsheets are even better than mine) here https://blog.lucidtext.com/2018/03/01/no-change-no-stability/#comments

      I haven’t yet attempted an equation for a scenario including multiple backlogged countries plus set-asides. But if you’d like to try, all the data available for the equation can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gjgkr1kjtcj8tf2/BacklogCalc.xlsx?dl=0

      • Seeker says:


        Where can we find your spreadsheet? Would you mind sharing it here?


      • happy says:


        Suzanne spoke modestly. Her model is the best I have seen and I based my analysis on her model and some of my own assumptions. I think people from Vietnam and India may face retrogression soon as their annual visa limit of 700 has been used up a while ago. The reason that it hasn’t showed up on visa bulletin yet is because I-526 processing time is so long that USCIS is “delaying” visa applications from Vietnam and India. However, their wait-time would be shorter than Chinese investors who submitted petition at the same time because of a much smaller petition number. Assuming all Vietnamese investors who filed before July 1, 2015 has received visa, and there are 5000 Vietnamese investors since July 2015, then the worst scenario would be 5000/700=7.1 years for a Vietnamese petitioner who file now. Mostly likely it would be shorter than 7.1 years. In the pipeline there are roughly 20,000 Chinese investors who filed before July 2015. These people will get processed before a Vietnamese investor who file today. If this 20,000 investors are able to receive their visa sooner than 7.1 years, say, 4 years, then wait-time for Vietnamese investors who file now would be between 4-7.1 years. There are a lot of moving pieces, so it would be a challenge to build such a model.

        I am not an immigration attorney, so my analysis is not professional. It would be great if immigrant attorneys could share their model with us.

  5. Jim Nail says:

    Great job, Suzanne — I hope you managed to get this feedback to IIUSA in time for it to form part of the policy discussion.

  6. Indian says:

    Thank you for a very informative blog post. Suzanne, do you have any no like how many i526 applications are pending for Indian if someone file today. It seems like the first time you express doubt that India also in backlog category?

    • I’ve collected all the data I know related to the backlog here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gjgkr1kjtcj8tf2/BacklogCalc.xlsx?dl=0
      You can see the numbers available for pending India visa applications and I-526 filings from India, and guess about current/future demand to estimate whether/when India will end up backlogged.

      • Bigshort. says:

        How does the author come up with a multiple of 4.9 for India while for China its 3.0. where is this number calculated from ?. 4.9 seems like a little skewed.

      • As noted in the footnote to the table, I used average household size data by country published by arcgis.com. I agree that data for the general population isn’t a great fit for the population likely to be EB-5 investors, but not sure what other data source to use. Do you have a suggestion? If DOS has ever published average derivatives per principal by country, I haven’t seen that.

  7. YY says:


    Where can I find some text or summary of the material of proposed new bill? I would like to read some of the detailed changes. Thanks.

  8. Chris says:

    I read your comment right after I woke up and thought at first I was having a nightmare. Smells like this is politics not from the people for the people but from the special interests for the special interests. I hope Congress disagrees and leaves EB-5 as is until politicians can start to work together again (I am an eternal optimist). Will be an interesting Friday coming up….

  9. happy says:

    I heard RCs are not supporting this. As a fiduciary/GP, they are supposed to protect the interest of other partners (investors). Supporting set-asides may double wait-time and defeat investment objective. If this did get passed, it would be other’s fault, not RCs.

  10. LM says:

    “And polish my resume, perhaps”
    Suzanne, you help so many people that I’m sure if you want to, you can create a great business by either turning the LucidText to a subscription-based website or providing paid consultation services.

    I’ll be your first customer to either service.

    Thank you for all your help.

    • Thank you for the encouragement! I hope EB-5 expertise will stay valuable long enough for me to find better ways to capitalize on it.

      • I second that motion, Suzanne…I’d be your first paying subscriber in a heartbeat. (-:

        So sad to see the ugly reality of how greed and well-funded lobbyists can gut even the most well-conceived laws devised by Congress.

      • Marcos says:

        Dear Suzanne, as I have already mentioned before, this is the BEST source for any EB-5 updates. Count me in, a very happy paying subscriber.

  11. J says:

    How does this affect me as a non China/India/Vietnam investor with a pending i526? Do I get stuck waiting for a visa in the non set aside, 7k bucket?

  12. James C says:

    Thank you very much for your analysis.

  13. Alex says:

    You don’t mention the min investment amount increase. The legislation you refer in this article doesn’t mention the increase? It may be a different version to what I’ve seen.

  14. James C says:

    My understanding from the Policy Manual is that there is already some kind of set-aside of 3,000 visas. Can you explain how the situation under the proposed legislation differs from the current situation? Is it because of the differentiation between priority urban and rural? Thank you very much.

    • Under current policy, EB-5 is “7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of Pub. L. 102-395” (quoting the Visa Bulletin). These set-asides haven’t had effect in practice because there have never been more than 7000 non-TEA or non-RC investments to bump up against the set-asides. The new situation is different because new definitions will make many investments in the backlog non-TEA investments that do bump up against the set-asides, and because the new set-asides will accrue and stay within narrower categories (1,450 annually for rural, 1,450 annually for priority urban, 200 annually for infrastructure). At least, that’s my understanding.

  15. Marcos says:

    Dear Suzanne, the Google docs comparison chart informs a 4-month moratorium on new I-526 and I-924 filing from Date of Enactment, with limited exception for new petitions based on approved exemplar. Do you have more information on the exceptions? Is it possible that everything stays the same until the 4 month period is over? Thanks

    • Actually I was incorrect about the exemplar exemption — my apologies. The moratorium on new filing begins from the date of enactment to day 120 for all new I-526 and I-829, with no wiggle room or exemptions offered. If any amendment can be added to that bill, I’d most want the addition of a provision delaying the effective date until a date at least weeks after the date of enactment. The Exemplar exemption comes in day 121 to day 365 (“transition period”), when there is limited option for projects with exemplars outside of TEAs to file I-526 at the new TEA rate. The transition period provision is confusing though, and I still don’t quite understand it (but removed it from my chart).

  16. Gman says:

    how will this affect people like me whose i-526 is approved, became documentarily qualified by the NVC and are waiting to hear about an interview date ?

    • I think you’ll mainly just benefit from new flexibility and options in and before I-829. But I haven’t had time to think through all the details. I hope the text will be available soon so you can review it.

      • Gman says:

        yes, waiting to read the text myself. i guess my main concern was how the visa setasides would affect me, would it cause ppl to jump in queue ahead of me ? im an indian investor

      • You’re so far along that I don’t think so. It will probably take a couple years for people filing I-526 for set-aside-qualifying projects to reach the visa stage.

  17. hao says:

    Good post. Always learning sth here. I am wondering if the existing I-526 approved TEA investors will benefit a little from this new bill, while non-TEA investors’ interest will be harmed. I see the overall quota for TEA area is from no set-aside to 1450 (am i correct?) so I guess their backlog situation will be relieved somehow?

    • Existing I-526-approved TEA investors could benefit if their TEAs also qualify for one of the differently-defined new incentive categories in the new legislation (which would allow them to re-designate to take advantage of set-asides).

      • happy says:

        Actually an approved TEA investor might not benefit. According to IIUSA statistics, 28% projects are eligible as urban priority area projects. Assuming 85K successful Chinese waiters in the line, 60% of them with approved I-526, we are looking at approximately 15K potential re-designation investors. 15K redesignation requests would exhaust all 10-year inventory of urban priority area set-asides. For non-Chinese investors, they might be better off without filing redesignation because the regular “slow” line might be faster. So ironically the good policy intention is defected by market reality.

        I feel it would make more sense if the legislation could reallocate set-aside so inner city and infrastructure receive more, based on demographic/economic features such as population/GDP etc. The rational is that the money should be channeled to areas where the most effective demand exists.

      • Good points. Wish you had been at the negotiating table. Also, do you post articles anywhere that I can link to?

      • happy says:

        Thank you. I believe IIUSA is aware of that. I post my stuff via Wechat so all are in Chinese and not related to the pending legislation. Many Chinese investors know this forum and you. They love it! I think if you travel there, people may fight to buy lunch for you.

      • Hao says:

        Thanks Suzanne and happy, I agree. This insane backlog time is really an issue here. Then think the other way, if any of the investors intend to quit the program to get the capital back, what will be the possible solution? It is more realistic to go with EB1 now. Will it be possible to transfer the application to other people who actually can wait?

  18. KJOHRI says:

    Suzanne…Thanks for your service here. You are doing a great job.
    Is there a list of investors who are on a whatsapp group or any other forum to keep each other informed ?
    EB5 is such a dark dungeon with very little info online..
    I will be filing my petition later this week…

  19. LA says:

    Count me in as well.

  20. derek says:

    Retrogression – the biggest issue I can see from this is retrogression and the lack of focus on it. Also, can you provide some clarification on your interpretation of the 7,000 visas and the four month window mentioned in the bill. Are existing applications stayed for the duration of the four months?

    • Regarding reserved visas…
      “(b) RESERVED VISAS.—
      “(1) IN GENERAL.— Of the visas made available under section 203(b)(5) in each fiscal year—
      “(A) 1,450 shall be reserved for immigrants who invest in capital investment projects physically located entirely in rural areas;
      “(B) 1,450 shall be reserved for immigrants who invest in capital investment projects physically located entirely in priority urban investment areas; and
      “(C) 200 shall be reserved for immigrants who invest in infrastructure projects.
      “(2) UNUSED VISAS.— At the end of each fiscal year, any unused visa within each subparagraph in paragraph (1) shall remain available in subsequent fiscal years to qualified immigrants under section 203(b)(5) who invest in capital investment projects described in the same subparagraph.

      Regarding the moratorium…
      (a) MORATORIUM ON FILING OF PETITIONS AND APPLICATIONS. Beginning on the date of enactment of this Act and for 120 days after such date, the Secretary shall not accept any application or petition filed on or after such date to:
      (1) classify an alien as an immigrant investor under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(b)(5));
      (2) designate a new regional center under section 203A(f)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1153a(f)(2));
      (3) amend a previously approved regional center under section 203A(f)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1153a(f)(3)); or
      (4) approve an investment offering under section 203A(f)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1153a(f)(4)).

      (1) USCIS PROCESSING DURING MORATORIUM. – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services shall:
      (A) continue to adjudicate applications and petitions under sections 204(a)(1)(H) and 203(b)(5) pending with the agency prior to the date of enactment of this Act to reduce the current backlog; …

  21. Pete Chase says:

    Please put us on the WhatsApp site and congratulations to Suzanne for an excellent post. (Seriously, it’s worth paying for!) We have two of the best exemplar projects in the country, we played by all of the rules, but will never be able to compete against the money machine created by the incumbents on both sides of the equation.

  22. Indian says:


    I did my best search, but there is no such group exists for EB-5.

    Let’s make a group on telegram since WhatsApp group has only 255 members limit.

    Here is link https://t.me/joinchat/CpMYEFALbN2xkSR5VoVhgQ


  23. Bowen Zhao says:

    Hi Suzanne,

    So according to the new draft, people with approved I-526 can apply for I-829 after maintaining the required investment and job creation for 2 years, right?


  24. techie2aggie says:


    Telegram group for those who want join..

    • Vivek says:

      I guess final decision is to join telegram group mentioned above and not whatsapp.

      • KJOHRI says:

        By the time I woke up this morning, there was a telegram group up already. So decided to join that. There are about 10 ppl already.

      • LA says:

        Kjohri, you should continue with the Whats app group as well. I have emailed you my details.

    • LA says:

      How do we join the Telegram ? I went to the site and selected “Join Group” and nothing happens.

  25. eb5enthusiast says:

    will those with approved i-526s be able to apply for TEA redesignation right away ? or will they have to wait the 120 days before doing so ? Also, how long are these redesignation requests (to USCIS i presume) gonna take ? months / years ?

  26. nyongjin says:

    It just amazes me that the legislation doesn’t give any grace period. Great job politicians! smh

  27. nyongjin says:

    I won’t believe this will pass until it actually does pass. Only few large RCs will survive and continue on.

  28. Seeker says:

    Hi Happy,

    This is in response to your comment above, where you state: “Assuming all Vietnamese investors who filed before July 1, 2015 has received visa, and there are 5000 Vietnamese investors since July 2015, then the worst scenario would be 5000/700=7.1 years for a Vietnamese petitioner who file now. Mostly likely it would be shorter than 7.1 years.”

    I was a little taken aback by your mention of 5000 Vietnamese. According to Suzanne’s spreadsheet (BacklogCalc.xlxs), only 404 I-526 petitions were filed by Vietnamese in FY16 (Cell: 404). Assuming a family size of 3.8, the filings equate to about 3,200 visa numbers in two years for Vietnamese. How can that square with 5,000 visas? Are you thinking of 3 years maybe (FY16, FY17, FY18)?

  29. Waiting says:

    Hi Suzanne,

    Does USCIS publish data on how many investors are waiting in the I-526 queue from each country, say at the end of every year?

    Thank you.

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