Per-country limits in question?

1/2019 UPDATE: IIUSA has done a more granular analysis of the EB-5 impact of the Yoder amendment

7/2019 UPDATE: My post Country Cap discussion analyzes  H.R. 1044 ‘Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019, which renews the proposal to remove the country cap for EB visas, but with a transition period and protection for past investors with approved petitions.]


I do not normally quote the Center for Immigration Studies, but for once I agree with David North. This is a concerning development:

An alarming bit of news – generally ignored by the press – is that the country of origin ceilings that try to diversify our immigration streams may be scrapped by congressional action.

The House Appropriations Committee, while marking up the Department of Homeland Security spending bill this week, inserted language that would eliminate the long-standing requirement that no more than 7 percent of any group of employment-based immigrants could come from a single nation. The same provision would ease the 7 percent rule on family migration as well, but not eliminate it. (See the amendment here, on pp. 23-28; it was introduced last year as a stand-alone bill, H.R. 392.)

This came about because the chair of the DHS Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan.), managed to persuade his colleagues on the full committee that the current system is unfair to the Indian nationals whose visa applications, notably in the EB-2 category, are backlogged for several years. The provision would also speed up the delivery of EB-5 (immigrant investors) to Chinese applicants, while slowing down their arrival for people elsewhere in the world.

This House amendment language may not get into a final bill (it’s not in the Senate version), but it’s still important for the community to be educated about what the per-country limit means for EB-5. Based on data for EB-5 usage to date, here is what I calculate would happen to EB-5 visa availability if the per-country cap were removed as part of the FY2019 funding bill in September:

  • The October 2018 Visa Bulletin would have a 2014 cut-off date for the EB-5 category for all countries.
  • From 2019 to 2027, Department of State would be issuing EB-5 visas to people already in the backlog as of 2018, with no visas left for contemporary demand. Here are my estimates for when visas would be available to investors from various dates, based on data about I-526 filings from 2014 to 2018 and assumptions about denials/dropouts, family size, and visas already issued. Investors from all countries would be in the same line in order by priority date, without regard to nationality.
    • 2014 priority date: visa issued in 2019 (5-year wait)
    • 2015 priority date: visa issued in 2020/2021 (6-year wait)
    • 2016 priority date: visa issued in 2022/2023 (7-year wait)
    • 2017 priority date: visa issued in 2024/2025 (8-year wait)
    • 2018 priority date: visa issued in 2026/2027  (9-year wait)
    • 2019 priority date: visa issued in 2027/2028
  • China-born applicants would dominate the front of the line for EB-5 visas, having the oldest priority dates. They would get 99% of EB-5 visas in 2019, and gradually reduce to about 80% of visas by 2027.

Pros and Cons

  • Removing the per-country limit for EB-5 would give past China-born investors a predictable visa wait of 5 to 10 years, mostly just competing with each other for visas. That would be better than the current hard-to-predict wait of 5 years to life that depends on the wild card of future incoming non-China demand. Removing the per-country limit would give the China-born investor filing today an estimated 9+ year wait rather than the currently-estimated 15+ year wait. This is a benefit for China, but not a solution even for China. 9 years is preferable to 15 years, but this difference becomes irrelevant if both times are unacceptably long.
  • Removing the per-country limit for EB-5 would be a pure disaster for non-China investors. All non-Chinese with pending I-526 or pending visa applications would find themselves in line behind the tens of thousands of Chinese with older priority dates, with many-year visa waits for everyone. Today’s China-born investor suffers, but at least it’s from policy that was in place when he invested, and an excess China demand situation knowable at that time. The non-China investor already in the system would suffer retroactively from new policy that didn’t exist when he invested.
  • Lacking the per-country limit to protect new investment from a variety of countries, the EB-5 program would be essentially dead as regards new investment for the next ten years. Interest might revive by 2030, when the backlog that piled up in 2011-2018 is out of the system, leaving visas available for new applicants. (Or earlier, if many people in the system are shocked at finding their visa timeline unexpectedly expanded by 5-10 years, and try to exit.)

There’s still room for lobbying on this issue, so judge where your interest lies and speak with your contacts.

Additional Reading:

About Suzanne (
Suzanne Lazicki is a business plan writer, EB-5 expert, and founder of Lucid Professional Writing. Contact me at (626) 660-4030.

126 Responses to Per-country limits in question?

  1. Kurt Reuss says:

    This is the scariest possibility yet.

  2. happy says:

    There will be obviously unintended consequences to existing petitioners, as any change/reform would bring in. If one truly argues for preservation of diversify, however, a fairer allocation should be based on share of the country’s population, not just a flat number. If Country A makes up 20% of the world population, then Country A shall have a cap of 20% of the available visa.

    • kishore says:

      Its not America’s problem cause the Chinese and Indian’s have billion people. The law was written to have equal flow into USA from all countries. Sadly the down part is Indian overwhelm EB1/2/3 while the chinese flood the Eb5. The country limit wont every go away cause the Indians and Chinese will blow up the lines for the rest of the world. It isnt fair cause for the rest of the 178 countries to suffer.

      • Sid says:

        There is a diversity visa just for that reason. Employment based visas should focus on employment and not on diversity. First come first serve is the fairest system out there. It’s silly for someone from one of the other 178 countries to join the line 50 years in the future and still be ahead of someone from India that joined today.

      • happy says:


        Thank you for responding my comment. I googled “per-country limits” and found an interesting post by an immigration attorney: The author provided a high level overview of the per-country limits history and argued for an ending.

        From a development economics view, human capital is considered an ingredient of economic production, no difference from financial capital, land, technology, entrepreneurs, and etc. If the goal of our society is to just make more stuff and promote economic activity, then there shouldn’t be any barrier to the flows of these ingredients. There are still a lot of vacant land in the Midwest and Southeast to be developed with financial and human capital.

        However, we all know that human society has other goals, i.e. social cohesion, environment, and etc. Presumably, a sudden lift of per-country limit cap on E2/E3 visa might create hardship to local job-seekers. Same things could happen in certain developing nations, when products from major industrialized economies flood their market and wipe out local producers. This is why globalization/free market isn’t always working.

        As far as I know, It is not our social objective to favor some races of immigrants to others. So I don’t understand why it matters if there are more people from Mexico, China, Indian, and the Philippines as long as they do not hurt the interest of local residents. If my assumption were wrong, then it would be really troubling.

        Let’s look at a more important topic – visa number increase. The best solution to EB-5 is still to expand visa availability. EB-5 does not create competition to local residents. Instead, it brings in talents, entrepreneurs, employment, and financial capital.

        Previous efforts to increase visa number were not successful,mainly because of gerrymandering. Most of the money didn’t go to the under-served communities where local residents need financial capital. Rather, significant amount went to affluent communities, compete against domestic capital and creating more imbalances. I hope this, together with the low price tag, the second obstacle, can be fixed immediately by the pending USCIS regulation.

        Once these obstacles are removed, I don’t see a good reason why EB-5 visa number can’t be expanded. Why do we favor “rich” immigrants? Because they would make contribution to our society and benefit everybody who is fortunate enough to have lived here! Once gerrymandering is fixed, the EB-5 program would indeed benefit underserved communities, promoting economic development and social cohesion.

        The most challenging part is fraud. I bet 90% of the investor sufferings could have been avoided if EB-5 were considered as a security in all foreign countries and the local finders were regulated as licensed broker-dealer or financial advisors in the US. That will be long-term goal!

        • Yubing Shi says:

          Speaking from an individual experience, I came to the U.S for college 8 years ago from China and applied for EB5 about 4 years ago, in the meantime, I started working in the U.S. and have been working, filing taxes, and contributing to medicare and medicaid for 3 years. Sometimes, I lose faith in constant waiting. I just can not believe all my years and efforts to be a good resident accompanying a strictly legal green card process will take me a total of at least 10 years of waiting. Most of the times, I still have faith in the system and the good and rational people that will keep improving the process.

          • happy says:

            Yes I know it’s hard, especially when the president of this country openly said all Chinese students are spies. His comments, together with a good amount of comments made by prejudiced and uneducated people can sometimes make me question: why should we make effort to bring people here, and let them discover that they are not really that welcomed in this nation? Are we creating any value to our society or add tension, at least in the next few years…

      • kishore says:

        Realistically i see nothing going to change and should not. Chinese have overwhelmed the EB5 while Indians have piled on the Eb1/2/3. Imagine the wait time if per country limit is removed. Chinese have like 60,000 already piled up in EB5 and Indians have like 500k in Eb2/3.

        The wait for green card will go to infinity for all countries. Its a free world. No one is forcing the Indians and Chinese to move to America. Its a choice that they want to move here and want the entire country laws to change cause they are waiting to flood here.

      • happy says:

        “The wait for green card will go to infinity for all countries. Its a free world. No one is forcing the Indians and Chinese to move to America. Its a choice that they want to move here and want the entire country laws to change cause they are waiting to flood here.”

        @kishore this is not entirely true. I am not familiar with EB2/3. But for EB5, I have personal experience. 99% Chinese investors were misinformed about the wait-time for visa. The misinformation was provided not just by foreign finders. You can do a research on this topic. So the investors were not willing to enter into this. Many are fighting to back out. We owe them a solution.

      • happy says:

        Correction above: Investors were not “willingly” to enter this (EB-5 thing, with the right info).

      • kishore says:

        No one owes a solution to the chinese. I cant even imagine what EB5 line will be for the rest of the countries. The chinese have atleast 100k waiting in line. No GC for the rest of the world if this per country limit is removed. The chinese will keep piling cause they came first. Iam not saying it fair but as long as chinese numbers overwhelm they are going to suffer.

        Its the same thing with India. Indians have piled up Eb1/2/3 and hence their waiting time is Infinity.

      • happy says:

        @kishore: Take a look at Suzanne’s excellent work here:

        In Tab “5. Projections”, you will notice projections between Jan 2016 and April 2018 by industry experts and US government on China’s wait-time. These projections were way optimistic than reality. Regrettably, these projections didn’t consult USCIS on I-526 petitions by country and significantly understated demand from non-Chinese investors. At the time of the projections, these numbers were already available. Unfortunately the most recent I-526 petition by country data was not used. These projections seriously underestimated the wait-time for Chinese investors. Nobody cared to point out until IIUSA published I-526 petitions by country data in June 2017. Since then, I only worked with one Chinese investor, who was told by me at the time of her subscription that it could take 15 years to get her visa. Note, even after IIUSA published these data, projection still didn’t consider the I-526 by country data, and very few people cared to point out this.

        It is not uncommon that US immigration attorneys gave additional haircut to the already optimistic projections. A typical situation would look like this: in summer 2017, the most possible wait-time for Chinese investor was 15 years (assuming status quo), expert’s projection was 10 years, US immigration attorneys would tell a Chinese investor: it’s hard to predict, but most likely 6,7 years.

        Between Jan 2016 and now, probably around 60K Chinese investors were added to the waiting line. If they were told in Jan 2016, that based on the most recent I-526 petition data by country, there was a good possibility that they would have to wait for 12 years, not 6 years, then I bet 60K would have been reduced to 10K. These investors’ money is now stuck for 5-7 years, let alone the disappointment, anxiety, confusion, anger…

        Do we owe them a solution? I think we do!

        • Happy, i wonder if you are thinking that the wait time is the same for all chinese regardless of when they invested? The 15 year estimate is for chinese filing now, not those filing in 2016. I think our 6-year estimate in 2016 was accurate then and only somewhat revised since due to higher than forseen rest of the world demand.

      • happy says:

        @suzanne, Chinese investor who filed Jan 2016 would obviously need to wait for fewer years than a Chinese who file today. However, it would be still much longer than 6 years. In Jan 2016,priority date for Chinese was Jan 2014. Total I-526 petitions in 2015 and 2016 was 29360. Assuming a 3 family/petition ratio, 85% I-526 approval rate, and 85% Chinese petitions, there would be roughly 63637 successful visa to be issued to Chinese who were waiting in the line in Jan 2016. In FY 2015 there were 2423 non Chinese investors, with the same I-526 approval rate and family size assumptions, there would be 6178 visa to non Chinese investors who filed in FY 2015. In FY 2014, there were 1335 non Chinese investors, translated into 3403 visa to non Chinese. Let’s take an average and adjust for Chinese students and scholars act. Say, 5000 visa to Chinese investors based on available data in Jan 2016. Take 63637 and divide it by 5000, it was over 12 years.

      • happy says:

        Suzanne, I was referring to the projections done by others who would have more knowledge with easier access to the USCIS data, not your projections. I honestly made optimistic projection as well, without much understanding on how the visa limit per country system really works and having trusted the other projections.

      • ypqj says:

        @Kishore, I can tell you the truth of my case that our agency was honest to tell us the truth of waiting time to get temperory green card had been becoming longer than previous 1 or 2 years by end of 2015, it’s USCIS did NOT unveil the real waiting time!! None of us received any information from USCIS that we need to wait more than 10 or 15 or even longer years , we can wait 5 or 6years but not means more than 10years can be accepted !! We don’t understand why USCIS did not unveil the real waiting time? Also don’t understand why do they continuously accept petitions when the quota is so much less than what really can be met? Even without any actual warning to the applicants? Just keep letting the money go into USA again and again but without any responsibility? and keep the money from our foreigners who has good dream for American at RISK for years and years??
        It’s absolutely we can NOT accept so long waiting time, if the visa backlog problem can’t be solved , we will choose withdraw, redeployment can’t be accepted also , we had created jobs and contributed American economics , why we need to bear the risk again and again because of USCIS’ irresponsibility? With USD5,000,000, we can re-schedule our family plan, even still stay in China, those money we earned through our hard-working is still very treasurable for ourselves ! Thanks!!

        • kishore says:

          Yes its frustrating but the problem is not immigration system. No one can tell you how long it takes cause this depends on how many are applying. There has been a tremendous number of chinese/indians looking to migrate to US. The wait time for Indians in EB2/3 is about 70 years.

          The problem is the law cant be changed cause too many Indians/Chinese want to move here. These whole lawsuits are not going to work unless congress rewrites the law. Frankly congress is just lazy to do anything in this country. I will rest it there

        • Archit Patel says:

          @ypqj: the answer is simple and clear: Would USCIS and project developers have received same number of applications and money as they did in 2016,2017 and 2018 if they would have declared the real or very close to real waiting time in 2016? NO. BIG ‘NO’. Transparency in waiting times would not have proven beneficial to any stakeholders other than investors who would have desired an informed decision. Someone would argue this is “cheating”, others would say this is what business means. I really appreciate people like Suzanne who speak truth and try their best to promote fairness, honesty and transparency. Unfortunately, those who have real control over this situation – will benefit only by not solving this problem.

      • Claudia says:

        Do you know the USA takes the most advantages of the EB5 investment? All the investors are favorable to the United States and the American even though they were cheated.
        Did you get that 480+ Chinese investors collected money to authorize Mr. Ira kurzban suing the US government for 10000 EB5 non-derivatives-visas which will benefit the worldwide investors,RC,the case lawyers, and the USA?
        What did you do for the USA?

      • ypqj says:

        As a Chinese Investor who send petition by end of 2015 , before investment , we made carefully investigation about the projects and finally made carefully choice on the project , project has been going smoothly so far , we had understood that as long as project goes well, the investment is worth of doing , we never thought of the risk of waiting so long time, although our agency was honest to tell us the process will be longer than previous 1 or 2 years to get the temporary green card , but none of us received any information from USCIS that we need to wait more than 10 or 15 or even longer years , we can wait 5 or 6years but not means more than 10years can be accepted !! We don’t understand why USCIS did not unveil the real waiting time? Also don’t understand why do they continuously accept petitions when the quota is so much less than what really can be met? Even without any actual warning to the applicants? Just keep letting the money go into USA again and again but without any responsibility? and keep the money from our foreigners who has good dream for American at RISK for years and years?? That’s the American FAIR?

        • kishore says:

          No its very simple. There are only 10,0000 visas. China has a wait list of 60,000 applicants but they can only get 7% of the quota every year for the 1st 9 months of the year. Every other country gets 7% of the 10,000 visas/ year. at the end of 9 months from October- June calendar year the unused visas from the rest of the word quota goes to China as they have a long waiting list.

          Every year china is getting around 7500 visas per year. So i dont see why that is not fair. The fair thing would be to only give 700 visas per year to China.

      • Archit Patel says:

        @kishore: To your comment on “Its not America’s problem cause the Chinese and Indian’s have billion people.” Diversity does not mean the country of birth..but the race, gender, ethnicity, background, values, profession, skills among others. Man-created borders are not true indicators of diversity, for example life in Toronto is not that different than Chicago or other bigger cities in Northern US. But definitely, Toronto/New York is different then interior Louisiana or New Mexico. Likewise, people in Northeastern India live a similar life to neighboring Nepal, but they are drastically different then those in major southern India city (Bangalore). Capping every type of visa (employment, family, business, etc.) by country will not create cultural diversity but creates forced bias on smaller countries. To maintain the right amount of diversity, the laws should apply basic supply – demand calculation to reach equilibrium or desired state. i.e. determine right indicators of diversity, measure the current mix already present in the country and calculate the incoming immigrant mix required to reach the desired equilibrium state. In simple words, limiting cap by countries is not creating diversity.

  3. Angry Chinese Investor says:

    This article is incredibly biased. I am shocked that this piece is authored by you. Why didn’t y’all mention that Indian nationals have to wait for 150+ years for EB-2, and HR.392 is made primarily to speed up Indian nationals in EB-2,3 categories? If y’all believe that it’s ok to remove per country cap for EB2/3 to benefit Indians, why isn’t okay to remove cap for EB-5 as well? It’s also astonishing that you completely ignored these Chinese nationals, who have already invested years ago, have to wait 15+ years, but rather, you only care about how to gather future investors outside China without regards to the fact that letting someone wait for decades long simply based on country of origin is completely unfair. Why don’t you just get bold and ask the Congress to reserve 99% of visas to facilitate future investors? Isn’t it probably the best for you, since y’all can continue recruiting non-Chinese investors while exploiting money from past Chinese investors over and over again?

    It’s extremely hypocritical and double standard that y’all didn’t seem that vocally against it when Grassley wanted to “reserve” 30% EB-5 visas away from current investors, and you didn’t seem to care that much about it, but rather angry at the fact that Congress simply wanted to restore the “first come first serve” value of the immigration system.

    Again, if you don’t like this, don’t use double standard. Go ask the Congress to continue implementing 7% cap on EB-2/3 as well. There is no selective advocacy – if you like to help Indians in EB-2/3, then maybe you should help Chinese in EB-5 as well.

    • I was very much against the visa set-asides, which I saw as a cynical ploy to reserve visas for new investment, and spoke strongly against them. I have mixed feelings about changing the per-country limit because the change would cause a lot of pain and counteract a policy objective that I believe in without even providing very much relief for China.

      • Angry Chinese Investor says:

        So do you think it’s okay to remove 7% cap for EB-2/3 so that 200,000+ Indian nationals can go before those from other countries? If that is okay, why isn’t it okay for EB-5?

      • Claudia says:

        I agree with everything you said and all the China investors are angry with the EB5 visa backlog. Some of the China investors chose to invite a strong lawyer fighting for them, for the RCs, for the lawyers, the USA. Suzanne give me the details of Ira Kurzban and the media inquiries as followed:

        For questions specific to the lawsuit:
        Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzeli and Pratt, P.A.
        Ira Kurzban
        Attorney At Law
        For interviews and media inquiries:
        American Lending Center
        Dana Doran

    • kishore says:

      @angry chinese: Come one, you should not be ranting at Suzanne for writing this article. She does incredible service by maintaining this blog.

      Shame on your for venting your anger on the author.

      • Angry Chinese Investor says:

        Oh dude. I invested my life savings in this country and I am entitled to have the right to vent about my frustration, since we are all treated so poorly throughout the process. We have been keeping our mouth shut for so long, and you want us to be silent again? Hell no. Shame on you for attempting to slience us.

      • kishore says:

        lol if you have anger issues you should get a shrink. Not come and blow off on suzanne’s eb5 blog. She works really hard to update and maintain this blog.

      • @Kishore, thanks for the support! @angry Chinese, you can certainly vent, though I think we agree I am not among the people who treated you poorly, or who has most power to change the situation. If you’d like to speak with actual journalists, that could be arranged.

      • Angry Chinese Investor says:

        Kishore, again, you offered no meaningful discussion besides the fact that you asked others to shut up.

        Suzanne, I understand your point, but you should advocate for what you believe in, not what the industry can benefit from. The visa issue is not a “benefit exchange” issue, but an ethical issue. I support abolish the “7% cap” NOT because it will benefit the Chinese or myself, but because it’s the right thing to do in order to restore the original intent of the employment based visa program. I felt that you are speaking on behalf of the industry, which in many ways conflicts with the well-being of investors. Multiple incidents this year have proven that what the industry players want are usually different from what investors want, and this is the problem. It’s investors who made the EB-5 possible. If the mindset is “what we can do to let the industry continue exploiting money from investors”, then this is completely messed up.

  4. Indian says:

    Are you 100% sure this applies to EB5? There is contradicting information coming and multiple sources are saying this only applies to EB2 and EB3. Can you please interpret actual bill text and confirm this changes really impacting EB5? I try to read bill text multiple times and it is beyond my expertise.

    If this applies to EB5 then practically it will kill EB5 program as existing non china investors wanted to quit and no new investor will jump into this.

    • I made this document of EB-5-visa-related statutes to assist in interpreting new legislation:
      The amendment on page 26 of the PDF file proposes to strike references to section 203(b) and (5) from INA 202(a)(2), which gives numerical limitations. That’s significant because the EB-5 visa allocation is in INA 203(b)(5).
      But I’m not a lawyer, so look forward to more expert analysis.

    • Chinese says:

      EB5 was killed in China, and will be in India too. Each county can be issued 700 visas annually, that equals to 230 families (petitions) only. In FY2015, India filed 239 I-526 petitions, In FY2016, India filed 354 I-526 petitions. USCIS and IIUSA do not really FY2017 and 2018 date yet, but is estimated 2 times higher than FY2016. That means, India will have visa backlog pretty soon, maybe FY2019, 5 years or 6 years long. What happened in China will happen soon in India, which is Regional Center never tell!

  5. Zoe Ma says:

    You should feel shamed to call Chinese investors reckless in not knowing the visa backlog in 2015 to 2018. It’s the responsibility of US immigration attorneys to explain US immigration law and EB-5 facts but these US immigration attorneys disappeared during the process of preparing I-526s for Chinese clients. US immigration attorneys had zero contacts with their Chinese clients. Many Chinese investors don’t even know who their US immigration attorneys are until I tell them how to find this information – I-526 receipts from USCIS. Chinese EB-5 investors are induced to invest in EB-5 and are victims of EB-5 visa fraud conspired by US immigration attorneys and Chinese migration agents. Chinese investors were sold out by US immigration attorneys for mere $15,000 attorney fee!

    “Today’s China-born investor suffers, but at least it’s from policy that was in place when he invested, and an excess China demand situation that he knew or was reckless in not knowing at that time. The non-China investor already in the system would suffer retroactively from new policy that didn’t exist when he invested.”

    • I’ve softened the language in my post a bit just for you, Zoe! I know the situation is complicated and painful for Chinese investors. But “reckless” could be one word to describe handing over half a million dollars without doing personal research or even demanding to contact the immigration attorney.

      • Lulu says:

        How people can raise a question they don’t know the existence, That time there was no where u could find detailed backlog information that never happened before. Indian, Vietnam investors are lucky!

      • Zoe Ma says:

        Your logic really disappoints me! Why don’t you ask US immigration attorneys how they can prepare I-526 petitions without any direct contacts with their Chinese clients? Don’t blame the victims! To get business referrals from Chinese migration agents, US immigration attorneys have signed secret agreement with Chinese migration agents behind their clients’ back and sold out these Chinese clients for $15,000 a piece. You don’t know much about Chinese law even though you lived in China before and speak Chinese. How can you expect Chinese clients know how to work with US immigration attorneys when they have never dealt with US law before. Isn’t it US immigration attorney’s duty to explain the agreements to their Chinese clients to make sure they understand what they are signing? it’s blatant malpractice on the US immigration attorney’s part!

      • Zoe Ma says:

        If Chinese investors work with big Chinese migration agencies, 99% of these Chinese investors don’t know their immigration attorneys’ name. And many of these US immigration attorneys are from well-known law firms in the US. It’s very sad that these attorneys treat Chinese clients as dollar signs rather than human beings who have dreams for their family. I feel heartbroken when one after another would tell me that he or she has never contacted the immigration attorney and doesn’t know where to find this information.

  6. Dear Suzanne, as one coin has two sides, what you see is the head side, but what we experience is the reverse side. If the truth is like what you said in China that Chinese investors are mature investors with enough investing knowledge & the industry is well regulated and transparent, do you still think they will choose EB-5 since knowing that they will wait 15+ years, their kids will age out, their development plan will be disturbed, their money may not be refunded, the risk will be expanded unlimitedly, and they may not obtain green card in the end? Only few will choose EB-5 if they know all these in advance.

    450+ Chinese investors filled visa quota lawsuits. 100,000 joined White House Petition. More and more defrauding projects were disclosed and accused by SEC. Shutting down of RC involve all his other innocent investors to lose green card. Investors facing redeployment now filled lawsuit to their RC & brokers since they don’t trust them. All these are happening in China now.

    As you said, RC spent lots of money and time to prepare PPM and other documents. I believe that. However, do investors receive all the documents in their I526 package? Many of them don’t know the existence of these documents and signed their name on some blank papers under the urge of salesman. The people who can afford 500,000 in China now is not rich class like what you think. Most of us is middle class whose apartment’s price have risen a lot. Many of us sell their only apartment to invest EB-5. Besides, many of us are middle aged, whose English is not as good as young people and cannot understand the PPM full of technical terms. What is worse, we have limited access to Internet outside China due to gov. reasons. In our own Internet, when you search EB-5 in Baidu or others, you can only find good comments uploaded by brokers. Brokers use Internet to post information benefiting their sales, which are paid to be listed ahead on pages. Only when in 2017, some past investors cannot stand with lies all over Internet, they post the articles on Internet to tell the waiting years is over 10 years, not what brokers said 3~5 years. Sadly, the articles are not easily found when you search EB-5 since they are not paid. Therefore in 2017 still many investors don’t know they need to wait 10+ years to get conditional card, and they were told only need 3~5 years.

    We hope you could learn more about Chinese EB-5 situation. As we said to IIUSA, EB-5’s brutal and unregulated business expansion in China caused tragedies of numerous families. If it cannot be fixed and improved, Chinese market cannot be recovered in future since no one trust this immigration plan. In China now EB-5 is regarded as a fraud.

    I understand you love this industry and have given it your passion and time, hoping it could be better. In fact, EB-5 have hurt so many Chinese investors. It is time for the whole industry to introspect and fix if there is future for EB-5 Chinese Market.

    Could you please leave me your email address? I hope to send you the petition letter which we have handed to USCIS & Senator Grassley during the hearing meeting Grassley asked USCIS to hold.

    • You speak very eloquently. I wonder if you can put your petition letter online, then post a link to the letter here? Then everyone can read it. My email address is

    • Sid says:

      Great comment. Previously, I had little empathy for Chinese investors for not doing their research but having read what you’ve written, I can understand how easy it was to be misled.

      Realistically, the EB-5 industry will likely fight removing the per-country quota since (1) they have money from Chinese investors indefinitely under current rules (2) removing the quota will kill their ability to get any new investors for another 10+ years due to wait times. I think the challenge to interpret 10000 EB-5 visas as investors is probably the best for all (current and future investors, and RCs).

      • Hi Suzanne, here is the link of Petition letter from Chinese investors handed to USCIS and Grassley during the Hearing.
        To Grassley:

        Click to access Letter2Grassley_180619.pdf

        To USCIS:

        Click to access Letter2USCISDirector_180619.pdf

      • Kishore says:

        There is no reason to remove the country limit. Dont bring on the hate. Iam an EB5 investor too. The problem is not EB5 programs its the overwhelming demand from Indians and Chinese to leave their countries and live in America. That is the reality. Supply is overwhelmed by demand. If the country limit is removed the 100,000 chinese will take the EB5 quota for the next years for no one else to file an EB5.

        On the other hand Indians overwhlem EB1/2/3. Same scenario and same outcome. The country limit should be kept or else the Chinese/Indian line will flood the green card line for decades.

      • ericashere says:

        Why not change the % based on the share of the population (add some factors to take into account the country’s population and the U.S. demographic statistics)? A simple 7% seems arbitrary.

    • In the disordered Chinese EB5 market, those sales agents who have been well trained keep telling you lies from the beginning. They act considerately to show you the data of IPO526&829 passing to prove what a high success rate it is if immigrating by EB5. Actually, not everyone who pass 526 can have a chance to apply for 829, that cannot be seen from those datas. The datas pretend those who pass 526 but miss 829 application donot exit (there are many investors like that), so it seems very easy to get green card successfuly by EB5.

      When you question the waiting time is unexpected long, they will explain 10000-family-counting-method will come soon, probably in 0.5 or 1 year.

      They said what Charlie predit is wrong, because what NVC show is only 4 years(2018-2014=4)

      They said every family only have 1.8-2.3 members because during 2016-2018 many kids applied single.

      They said U.S. would bring past years’ wasted 130000 visas back to solve visa backlog once and for all.

      They said removing per country limit would let Chinese accupy most visa quota.

      They said your project can avoid visa backlog and enter U.S. in priority.

      Besides they recommand you many plan B. For example, E-2, or F1, or buy houses in some Europe countries to get their passport. Of course, those are not free, and maybe another trap.

      I want to know that as NCE’s GP, have RCs ever investigated their LP’s entrepreneurs qualification? In China, as well as Vietnam, more and more unqualified entrepreneurs are swarming into EB-5. Is this only investor’s fault? The whole industry is clean and have no fault?

  7. ellis says:

    Suzanne, Thanks for the timely updates. Your post today has valuable information for investors and potential investors. Would you be able to describe what the process is, for this proposal (to eliminate country specific cap) to become law? When do the house and senate vote on this and will this proposal be included in an omnibus bill if the appropriations bill is not passed by the end of September. This information may help estimate the chances of this new rule coming into effect.

    • I’m not an expert in the legislative process, but here’s what the National Review article that I linked in the post says:
      The House Appropriations Committee this week approved the Department of Homeland Security funding bill for fiscal year 2019 (starting October 1, 2018), after considering a raft of amendments. This is not necessarily the final product; the bill will likely be amended further if and when considered by the full House of Representatives, and again when the House and Senate confer on reconciling their respective versions of the legislation. …Hill staff assured us that the most egregious items won’t make it to the floor or will be killed in conference (if the bill even gets that far).

      We’ll have to follow the progress of the FY 2019 Appropriations Bills to see whether or not the per-country cap provision gets negotiated out of final legislation. Unlike many bills, FY 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations needs to pass so the government stays funded. But the question is: what will the bill contain when it finally passes?

  8. kishore says:

    Highly doubt this bill will go anywhere but the pile of bills in the congress library. There is absolutely no reason to remove the country limit. Imagine what will happen if its removed. The country will be flooded by Chinese and Indians and Mexicans.

    • Bo says:

      I agree. I am quite sure that epecially Trump’s voters do not want this to happen. Just try to mention Chinese or Indian immigrants to some of them and you will see 🙂

    • Angry Chinese Investor says:

      1. If there is absolutely no reason to remove the country limit, could you please explain why H.R.392 (which removes per country cap) has 200+ cosponsors from BOTH parties in congress? I remember the same legislation was actually taken to the house floor in 2011, and only around 20 out of 400+ representatives voted no. 90% voted yes.

      2. There is a clear distinction between the diversity visa program and employment based visa program.

      3. I don’t know if you actually meant it, but your statement “the country will be flooded by Chinese and Indians and Mexicans” sounds purely racist.

  9. KELLY says:

    Since as you said EB5 documents are regulated and transparent, why they don’t tell Chinese investors China don’t have 7% per country limit? If other country grows, since we only can wait for other countries’ leftover, our waiting time will be extended infinitely. Why donot tell us in document? You think it is not fair for other countries, is it fair for us who donot know we donot have per country limit in advance?

    • kishore says:

      cause the country limit is not applicable until you can file i-485 which is the last stage before they issue the green card. There is no country limit to file i-526 ( 1st stage). Lawyers cannot predict the country limit as it totally depends on each countries backlog in each category.

  10. Indian says:

    We have active discussion going in EB-5 group. We are 193 members as of today. Members mainly include investors, few RC executives, brokers and attorney.

    Telegram link –

  11. Zoe Ma says:


    In 2015, I was the lone voice telling Chinese investors not to invest in EB-5 because they would be facing 10 visa back. Nobody believed in me. Everyone laughed at me. Regional centers and immigration attorneys ran over China busy with promoting their projects. None of them were telling the Chinese about potential visa backlog. Now their lies are catching up with them. Chinese investors are going after these regional centers and immigration attorneys with lawsuits. The most recent one is the one against CMB in Federal court in Illinois. There will be more lawsuits coming against regional centers, immigration attorneys and unregistered middlemen in US. Chinese investors are not going to be bullied. We will not rest until we have justice.

  12. Chandra Ojha says:

    Please correct me if I am wrong but the bill only advocates for left over visa. Every country will have their share if 7% and other countries like India/China will only get the leftover if those countries do not maximize their 7% limit. I am not sure where and how is that affecting diversity and taking options away from anybody else. Isn’t it already happening in EB5 ?

    • The newly-proposed amendment would remove the 7% provision. If that happened, then visa applicants would just get visas in order of priority date up to the worldwide limit, regardless of national origin. Then visas would be issued according to demand, which is naturally largest from a few countries. Such a change would increase fairness for applicants from China or India, who have already been waiting a long time. It would decrease fairness for applicants from small countries, who would struggle to ever get a visa because applicants from China or India already have claim on all visas for the next many years based on high demand. I explain current visa allocations in this post

      • Chandra Ojha says:

        Thank you Suzanne. In an ideal world, it should be only the redistribution of left over visas. That would preserve the sanctity of immigration which is diversity. However I do support removal of lottery based immigration and instead use that 50K for Merit based. Wonder what’s the general opinion on lottery based Green cards ?

  13. Jane says:

    Dear Suzanne, thank you for your hard work.I got much useful information from your blog . Somebody says China does not have 7% per country limit. Is it true? When China can get the 7% per country limit again? Thanks.

    • Click to access STATUTE-106-Pg1969.pdf

      (1) IN GENERAL.—^The numerical level under section 202(a)(2) of the Immigration and NationaUty Act applicable to natives of the People’s Republic of China in each applicable fiscal year (as defined in paragraph (3)) shall be reduced by1,000.
      (2) ALLOTMENT IF SECTION 202(e) APPLIES.—If section 202(e)of the Immigration and Nationality Act is applied to the Peo- ple’s Republic of China in an applicable fiscal year, in applying such section—
      (A) 300 immigrant visa numbers shall be deemed to have been previously issued to natives of that foreign state under section 203(b)(3)(A)(i) of such Act in that year, and
      (B) 700 immigrant visa numbers shall be deemed to have been previously issued to natives of that foreign state under section 203(b)(5) of such Act in that year.

    • Chandra and Jane, Here is a link to my post that reviews EB-5 visa allocation, with links to the statute if you’d like to check personally:

  14. Elliot says:

    For comparison, let’s say an investor from a small country files a 526. Let’s say St. Kitts and Nevis, one of the smallest countries in the world invests in Eb5. Said investor is the ONLY investor in 2018 from the country. Could you estimate how long their wait time would be?

    • kishore says:

      It should be around 16-26 months for i-526 and than about 6 months for i-485 approval/process. remember these are best case scenarios if you dont have any RFE’s at any stages.

  15. Hao says:

    Hi @Angry Chinese Investor

    if you want to get your emotion out, please don’t use “Chinese” in your user name. I am a Chinese too and we are on the same boat. BUT CALM DOWN. This is the last thing people want to hear from United states: angry tweets. And we don’t want people to think we Chinese are just rude to attack people like Suz who are helping us. We all should all take opinions from both sides and respect that.

    I agree with the author that in the long run, this might be a concerning impact. I will break this down into two points why this may not look as good as it sounds for Chinese as well :

    These are just my thoughts:

    1. Getting the conditional green card is merely the first step for this application. If we remove the per-country cap, the direct effect will be : Chinese or whoever in line will get almost all the quota (like me) and other new investors will face almost indefinitely long waiting time —> no new investors will invest in EB5 in next few years —>there will be no new money entering into the market and industry will disappointed, they then exit —> no lobbying or influences from institutions and developers/RCs on policies —> policy may change in a short time even “shut down” with no one to speak for us. We need to understand this is a game balancing all interests and it is never about fairness (I am disappointed too). The government is interested in bring in investment into the country to create jobs and RC/developers care about the profits. We simply want our green card and investment back.

    If this happens, for one or two years, we get a speeded-up processing on our applications, then what? Maybe after another two years this whole program got shut down led by Sen. Goodlatte? This is why we need support, especially from industry. We need to keep them profitable so this whole program will be safer because they do have the capability to help. It is about making EB5
    sustainable so we won’t get disappointed again.

    I guess you invested after 2016 so this will be meaningful to you. This will be a long term process for you anyway. The only people who are sure to be benefited from this will be Chinese investors invested around 2014. But this will be a different story.

    I know it is tempting but who knows what will happen in 5 years? Like the author said, having the number of quota increased is THE solution. We don’t need distraction for that. This policy will potentially kill the industry and if this happens, we soon may be left with no help at all. That is bad for everyone in the program.

    2. I don’t think this will go well but we will see.

    I think it is also not fair to view this program as a diversity visa program. It is not about having diverse investors into the country, it is about having investors into the country. And people who already invested and contributed deserved their rewards because the cost of time and effort. There is no nationality about investment and this is not a diversity visa program. I don’t think race or nationality should ever have an effect on this.

    I do think there should not be a per-country quota in this program at the very beginning but it is just not feasible and sustainable to do it at this moment. If a solution may kill the whole industry, everybody loses, including who think they can benefit from it.

    • Chandra Ojha says:

      Hao …. my sincere regards and gratitude to you. Very well said. I am bit surprised to read in this blog the kind of biased narrative and at times just hateful comments. As you have said, EB5 is a totally different program and investor based. Also any changes which needs to come in for a program like EB5 ideally should be prospective and not retrospective.

      I can certainly say that with your approach and attitude, you will be very successful in USA.

      • Angry Chinese Investor says:

        Chandra Ojha, your logic is pure problematic. What do you mean by “should be prospective and not retrospective”??? So for hundreds of years, white people exploited black people, enslaved them, jailed them, deprived their resources, destroyed their families, and made them less than human simply because of their race. Now, when black people are asking for justice, the same white people are saying: “why can’t you be prospective? Why are you always talking about things in the past? Why can’t you calm down?” Are you kidding me??? So you exploited them from the beginning to the end, and then you ask the people you hurt to “forget about the past”??? No. Any changes of EB-5 should prioritize past investors who are still suffering from the waitlist, instead of looking at “what can we do to forget these annoying past investors, and exploit future investors”. This is not a “benefit” issue, this is a pure ethical issue.

      • Hao says:

        Thanks Chandra. We are all learning something here.

        @ angry. Chandra was talking about the future regulations and they should only apply to future investors so we are “grandfathered” and safe, even if the worst scenario happens.

    • Angry Chinese Investor says:

      1. Don’t throw out this “who knows what will happen in 5 years” shit to me. It only demonstrates that you don’t know shit about this industry and you don’t know shit about feelings of investors. When migration agencies and middlemen trick investors to join EB-5, a common methodology is to tell potential investors “who knows what will happen in 5 years?” . I have seen enough of this nonsense. The fact that you still bring this up is an indication that you are part of this problem.

      2. KISHORE, I don’t know who you are, but If you think my comments are not reasonable or nonsense, please indicate what sentence & what statement is nonsense. All my statements are indeed valid arguments. However, all I have seen is that someone attempting to silence me after I called you out. The fact that you keep asking me to shut up while completely unresponsive to my question is rediculous.

      • Hao says:

        It is a common knowledge that human being cannot predict the future. I am simply stating the fact that there will be a lot of uncertainty in this program, as well as upcoming regulations. I do know the feeling as an EB-5 investor because I am one myself. I share the anxiety and this backlog actually disrupted my life plans in many aspects. You are not the only one suffering.

        And I also know how to keep the profanity to private conversations and play this game like grown-ups. Yelling all over the internet is not going to work well in United States. We need to play a higher level game, being it legal requests, lobbying or go to the press. And if ourselves are making noises and statements in this “I paid my money but no green card received” way, it will only strengthen the “American citizenship for sale” stereotypes that some media trying so hard to made.

        And no, you only represent yourself, an extreme case and an angry person. You might be a good person in real life but don’t do this here. You think you are helping or representing some sort of justice or being a warrior, you are not. America plays a legal justice system, it is slow, painful, often hypocritical but this is the game we are in, and we have to play this way, like a rational man/woman.

        We Chinese are better than this.

        Be cool, calm and do real work instead of complaining. There are Wechat groups, lawsuits, and lobbying going on. Be a part of that, not an angry person talking like an child.

      • Angry Chinese Investor says:


        1. Please indicate what exactly I said constitutes profanity.

        2. When the Communist Party asked dissidents to shut up, they are saying “be cool, calm and do real work instead of complaining”.
        3. When White people are asking black people to shut up, they are saying “Be cool, calm and do real work instead of complaining”.
        4. When the capitalists are asking poor workers to shut up, they are saying “Be cool, calm and do real work instead of complaining”.
        5. When regional centers, developers are asking Chinese investors to shut up, they are saying “Be cool, calm and do real work instead of complaining”.

        Y’all see the problem?

        I am sure I have done much more lobbying & advocacy work than you. You are asking us to follow the system, but this system as a whole is a tool for these in power to suppress people of color. The fact that you are saying you should follow the system to show maturity is a demonstration that you are part of the white supremacist agenda.

      • Hao says:

        I am surprised that “shit” is not a swear word in your dictionary.

        And not everyone who is telling you some facts you don’t want to listen is a racist.

        This is the only system we can play.

        If attacking everyone who has a different view of an issue without considering any negotiation space is your strategy, then you are such a winner in life.

      • Angry Chinese Investor says:

        1. You don’t have the right to teach other people how to be an ideal gentleman.
        2. What facts are you talking about? All facts you have shared are things people have already learned. I am calling out your problematic beliefs, not the facts you are sharing.
        3. The fact that you said “this is the only system we can play” is exactly why your beliefs are problematic. Why don’t you tell blacks & hispanics in the hoods that “this is the only system we can play”? Why don’t you tell those who are persecuted by the Communists “”this is the only system we can play”? What’s the purpose of civil right movement, if all we have is a unchangeable system designed to suppress black and brown people? You are suggesting that we should restrain our behavior within the system, not knowing that the system itself is designed to suppress investors and exploit money from immigrants. The purpose is not just a piece of physical green card (some slave owners in 1850s offered slaves lots of good food with comfortable spaces, does that make these slave owners good people?)

      • Hao says:

        @ angry

        I do not intend to teach you anything and you certainly are taking everyone’ comments personal.

        I am responding to you because you used “Chinese” in your user name and I simply do not want people to think we are all cynical. Because this will close the channel for us to communicate and scare people who want to help us off. I am in a large discussion group of Chinese investors. Most of us are angry but we are pursuing this in an American way and support each other. You certainly provided a very different impression here.

        My point of view is simple. If this program becomes unsustainable, we will be left unprotected. Worse things can happen after some short-term relief. A balanced bill is the bill most likely can pass.

        If we want political changes, we play by political rules. I don’t see any better ways to solve a political matter without going through this system. If you don’t believe the democratic system, you better rethink your choice for coming to US. Because you will feel very uncomfortable here.

        I would like to play the racial card as well if there is a chance to win. Unfortunately I just cannot see the winning chance with this approach.

        And I will step to respond to further augments to avoid endless posts.

      • Angry Chinese Investor says:


        Multiple incidents happened this year have proven that the so called “American way” is simply hand over your cash to the corporations and let them exploit it. This is the American way. No kidding. If you want to argue with them under this system, you are already lost.

        The fact that you still believe in so-called “democratic system” is an evidence how naive you are. I am in many, many Wechat groups and I have seen so many Chinese investors falling to the traps of believing in “American democratic system”, hoping that American people & government will help them and save them through the “best political system in the world”. The reality is that this never happened, rather, those inviduals & organizations investors used to trust are now seeking ways to continue exploiting us. Can you imagine that these big EB-5 players, who claimed to help investors, are actually strongly against increasing visas as they want to redeploy our money over and over again? If you have participated in civil right movement in the US you will realize how corrupted and misguided “US democracy” is. It is simply a way for those in power to take advantage of others. In fact, many, many American people themselves no longer believe in the existing so-called democratic system, or extremely critical about it, at least. The fact that you are blindly believing in it without any critical thinking is really troubling.

        Potical compromise is what eventually has to happen in all bills, unfortunately. In fact, HR 392 itself is a result of political compromise. It eliminated per country quota while promising not to increase overall visas. But it does not mean you wouldn’t advocate for what you believe in. Again, the fundamental cause of the problem really isn’t visas or parties, but the corrupted system itself. Maybe investors have no other options but try to find a space under this system, but if you actually believe that this system is ideal for you and suggest others not to fight it, then you are completely wrong.

        Senator Feinstein said that EB-5 is completely corrupted and should be terminated altogether. We all used to think it’s rediculous, but now I understand where she is coming from: when the existing democratic system can’t deal with it anymore, maybe a reshuffle is a better way.

      • Hao says:

        Hi Angry,

        It is good to know that you are giving this issue some rational thought and in this post you wrote in a way less emotional.

        I certainly do not suggest people not to fight. I suggest negotiation. I suggest people to think about the other side of this bill. We are all the same.

        Believing the democratic system is not wrong from my perspective. Believing certain administration is a totally different story.

        As I discussed in my post, there might be potential danger such as differentiating investors, distracting us from the “increasing visa” solution, and future uncertainty in this upcoming discussed bill.

        And there is only low chance (or not?) this bill will pass because this touches so many parties’ interests. And, removing this quota will not increase the speed for processing at a significant level. we will only have around 3000-4000 more visas (1000 family?) every year if it is implemented. The backlog is the consequence of the blindly expansion of EB-5 program which was done already. Backlog is inevitable if the total visa numbers or the method of calculations does not change. I understand the potential corruption issue you hinted and I never suggest people to accept what was offered passively. And I certainly support your decision to standby your own point of view.

        What I do not support is that you (only in the first couple of comments) vented out with a very aggressive attitude against everyone including the author who merely shared a second thought based on their own interests and available information. It is about mutual respect and sharing opinions (critical thinking?).

        That is why I believe democratic system (for your question) because at the end of the day, it is about the majority of people’s voice (In our case it is 80% of all, Chinese), if functionally operated. There is no perfect social system and by far I find democracy as the one I can be convinced.

        And discussion about civil right in this blog is off the topic.

        In separate post I wrote to Suz, the two measures I advocates most are:

        1. No Re-deployment please. We need to get our investment back in a fixed timeline, instead of conditioning on our green card wait line.

        2. work permit (The EAD card) with no dependence on employer. That will almost equates to a green card for many people and facilitate the on-boarding process.

        If we can get these two done (at least discussed), we will all in a quite comfortable position to wait, or to fight as you suggested. And this might be very doable and reasonable requests for all investors around the world, and potentially with less political obstruction (I guess).

        I know I said I will stop posting so my apologies.

      • Yes, I agree with you. Even now some investors are deceiving themselves, and believe that they can get conditional green card if they can wait. Their own wishful thinking is one of the problems.

        However, in the meantime, my friend, I hope you could be a little bit gentle…It is not wrong for Suzanne to share her own ideas, and equally we can share ours rationally.Your anger may lead others to only focus on your mood, rather than the idea you want to express. The reason why we come here is not giving vent to our anger, right?

      • Chandra Ojha says:

        @ Angry Chinese investor

        I did not wish to put all this public but let me give you a background of mine which will help a little. Also I am not sure if slavery is something which should be discussed in the same vein as EB5 regulations. Think of the worse thing in life which you might have experienced and multiply it by billion or hundred billion times. That was slavery.

        I have lived in America for 11 years. Trained as an Interventional Cardiologist on J1 visa. I am so grateful to this country that when I finished my training, I went and build a very successful Heart hospital on my own (sorry not bragging) in a very rural community for the first time. Being in a visa, I was cheated by my employers for more money than what I invested in EB5 recently. However respect and affection I received made it worthwhile. Not to brag but what I did has not been done up until now in Cardiology. Still I have to take loans to be EB5 investor because at least with EB5 I can expect GC in 6-7 years whereas with EB2 it is 40 -50 years.

        In my pursuit and passion for Interventional Cardiology, I could never settle down. I still am working in a medically under served area on much lower pay than what my contemporaries are making with much less skills. So America is amazing but its not easy and certainly it is not easy for even a guy like who was trained in some of the best places of this country and then did what I did. We can not change the fact that we Indians and Chines have lot more hardships when it comes to immigration to USA. However it is not USA’s fault.

        As far as I understand HR 392 affects only EB2 and EB3. However if it does EB5, you gain a lot and I lose a lot. Still I will not be mad.

        • kishore says:

          That is not correct. hR392 affect all EB based categories. Again HR392 is moot as House is under recess and highly doubt any bills will get passed during mid term elections

    • Lulu says:

      Of course, the anger volumes are different by country and by priority date. Half million dollar is not an small amount for any family in the world plus you also invested your dream and your future!

    • Kishore says:

      Absolutely i agree that investor program should not be based on country but the law of the land is what is written in the bill passed by congress.

      The problem is changing the program now to benefit Chinese is the problem. China’s population is 1.4 billion. If the country cap is removed, Rich chinese have been flooding the program for the last 10 years. People from other countries will have to wait 50 years to file cause so many chinese are in line.

      Perhaps they should limit chinese EB5 filing numbers to 700 per year.

      • Hao says:

        So the law to hurt Chinese is OK but the law to benefit Chinese is wrong? The program needs to take care of “current majority group of investors” in the system instead of prospective investors. Otherwise new applications pilling up and soon everyone will suffer.

        Or simply, the government should issue a solution for RCs and developers to refund the money. But I doubt anyone will do that.

  16. Zoe Ma says:

    @kishore, Have you paid an independent professional to conduct due diligence before investing in EB-5? if not, you are as overconfident or naive as those Chinese investors. Chinese investors want to immigrate to US to enjoy the protection of law not to be abused by those who know how to play with law. US professionals, like immigration attorneys and fund managers are supposed to be gatekeepers and protectors to vulnerable investors. In case of working with Chinese EB-5 investors, these very professionals bribe Chinese migration agents with kickback commissions and secret agreements. Chinese investors are scammed by US fund managers and immigration attorneys as much as by Chinese migration agents.

    • Kishore says:

      No one has scammed you.The reality is if 100,000 chinese didnt flood the EB5 program there is no wait time for EB5. Look at the numbers there is no line for other than China. How can any fund manager tell you how many Chinese are filing EB5 program ?

      Iam not defending the EB5 managers, its reality. Way too many applicants.

      • Zoe Ma says:

        You should do some research before you opened your mouth. Don’t complain about way too many applicants. There are way too many EB-5 funds, managed even by ex-jail guard. Thinking about 700 or 900 investors in an EB-5 fund, and not even regulated by SEC.

      • kishore says:

        Lol there are billion fraud companies in china. Please !

      • Hao says:

        @ Kishore

        When we were talking about a program like EB-5 was designed and operated for this long, it is fair to say there are flaws in the design or regulation of this program. Now it is only the Chinese are suffering from the backlog, not because “there are too many Chinese applicants”.It is because “the program is not prepared for this situation that 80% of applicants are from the same country or : this program do not care about the situation as long as they get the money to our hands”. Chinese investors supported this program to make it sustainable. Without us, this program may sunset a long time ago. Let’s think about our contribution this way please.

        But you are right on the managers and lawyers. They do not have legal obligations to inform investors, sadly. The middleman should be responsible but there are almost no rules for them.
        But USCIS should. And that’s why this program is with no regulation and Goodlatte was so disappointed.

        Using your logic, I will guess that you will also think Indian’s backlog of EB2 or EB3 are normal situations because there are too many Indian applicants “flooded in”. Part of me want to tell you that big companies like Infosys rigged the H1B process to squeeze people out of their chances to even apply for green card for many years. And I am not feeling sorry for some Indian people who worked with these companies and cheated their way in the EB2 or EB3 wait-line. But we also know good behavior Indian people are suffering the most from this kind of behavior.

        Let’s not argue this in this ugly way and let’s not hate each other. Everyone is an individual case. This program certainly should have stopped to accept Chinese applications if they really care about the diversity issue. So it is fair for us to be angry about the terms which were not designed to help us.

  17. Hao says:


    I am actually thinking whether a reduced quota is a possible solution for this issue. If we downsizing the threshold to 3%, I think countries with very small number of applicants will not be affected much because it will be extremely unfair to them if there is no quota at all. To Chinese, this will be a fairly good news. People from India and Vietnam will suffer a little but overall speaking, the backlog issue will be averaged across all applicants, not simply Chinese or V,I people.

    The real solution is still the method to count visa number or available visa number.

    There are also two issues I think it is also extremely important for Chinese investors who are backlogged.

    1. Re-deployment process. I think this process can be very shady and it makes little sense to me that we still need to keep our investment “at-risk” even after creating the jobs (The first project). I think the review of qualification to remove conditional status shall happen independent from our back-logged waiting line. This will help our investors re-obtain our capital and avoid another risky decision.

    Furthermore, if industry can have our money circulated again and again while attracting new applicants, they will never have the true motivation to solve the backlog issue.

    2. Work permits. I think people who had approved 526 should be able to obtain unlimited work permit therefore investors can start the on-boarding process through education, work or entrepreneurship. This is good for investors to know more about US and it is also good for US.

    • Satyajit Gavand says:

      Fantastic inputs Hao!!

    • Zoe Ma says:

      @Hao, you are wrong saying “But you are right on the managers and lawyers. They do not have legal obligations to inform investors, sadly” . US professionals are bounded by US law and are the gatekeepers of investors’ interests. Just check out all the SEC enforcement actions against those bad apples in the past few years. EB-5 managers and lawyers, watch out. Uncle Sam / SEC are coming to you!

  18. x2 says:

    I am a Chinese investor in 2016. When I invested, I tried my best to understand that the answer I got was “just wait for 6 years”. But the current data shows that it needs to wait for more than 18 years (55000/3000). My children and I are getting older every day, and the waiting time is so long and uncertain, which destroys our plans and can destroy our family and our lives. Eb-5 requires us to be at risk, I understand and agree. But the biggest risk now is endless waiting, not from the project. This makes us desperate.

    • Hao says:

      There was a lawsuit initiated by a group of Chinese investors arguing this against USCIS right now. I think you can follow their updates, although I think they almost certainly will fail in court. But I guess wining in court was never the aim.

      • x2 says:

        If the child counts as an investor, it should not be overaged. If the child is not an investor, then the child should not occupy the 10,000 visa places.

    • @x2, remember that your wait time, as someone with a 2016 priority date, is shorter than the wait times currently being estimated (which apply to people with 2018 priority dates). I think that 6 years was a reasonable estimate as of 2016. The 2016 estimate is longer now, since there are more applicants than expected from the rest of the world since 2016, but not as bad as current estimates. You have two advantages (1) you filed before the surges of filings from China that happened since 2016, and are ahead of all those more recent Chinese investors in line, and (2) the average visas left to China will average higher than 3,000 annually during the duration of your wait. I don’t think your wait will be 18 years.

  19. ellis says:

    If the per country cap is removed, as you mention in your blog, the wait time for non-Chinese petitioners in 2018 is going to instantly go up to 8-10 years. Even with this long wait time, people who are currently in the EB2 backlog (India) may still be interested in EB5 if the EB2 backlog is going to take a long time to clear (this would also apply to all future EB2 applicants). How would the EB5 backlog compare to EB2 backlog in a scenario where per country caps are removed. I know EB2 is not your area of expertise, but would you be able to estimate what the wait time for EB2 India (priority date 2018) would be if the per country cap is removed – just like you calculated for EB5. Essentially, can you number crunch for EB2 just the way you did for EB5? Thanks!

    • Kishore says:

      Indians will flood all EB5 programs in that scenario ( may be not EB5.. i mean the chinese took care of that ) Wait time will be 10 years for all countries in EB program.

      There are atleast a million Indians in line before you. Let that sink in

  20. happy says:

    “Lacking the per-country limit to protect new investment from a variety of countries, the EB-5 program would be essentially dead as regards new investment for the next ten years. Interest might revive by 2030, when the backlog that piled up in 2011-2018 is out of the system, leaving visas available for new applicants. ”

    I honestly feel it will be the other way around. With the per-country limit, no Chinese will apply. India and Vietnam markets have a few more years before they need to wait for 10 years (7000 visa is really just a little over 2000 petitions). So we are talking about roughly 90% of the total EB-5 market that has been or are soon to be dead. Per-country limit creates not only LONG wait-time, but also UNCERTAIN wait-time to MOST people. It is hard to know whether it’ll be 15, 30, or 60 years!

    If keeps the per country limit, how much are we getting from the rest of world? In 2016, when the market peaked, we received 1567 I-526s. With a modest price increase to $1 million, we will probably receive 500 petitions per year?

    Removal of per-country limit is a good remedy to the pending price increase. It is a great way to wake up the China market and keep India and Vietnam market sustainable. It makes much more sense to save the 90% lost and losing market than to stick our head to fight for the 10%.

    I agree it will be terribly unfair to non-Chinese investors who have already invested. We are talking about less than 20,000 people? Hopefully the legislation will include a provision to exempt these investors.

    The remaining reason to keep diversity is purely ideology, or personal preference. It sounds a lot of fun to have a collection of immigrants from each of the 193 or so countries. I agree. It would be nice to see items for sale from each of these 193 countries in our malls as well. Unfortunately demand for EB-5 varies from country to country. Population size, perception of “better” life in the new world, household income, housing market, price-index, you name it. This is the reality.

    First-come, first serve is the fairest way of doing things. Between personal preference and fairness, we might want to forgo personal preference and choose fairness, and help MORE people who dream of better life, not just the 10%?

    I hope people won’t come up with other arguments such as national security. Would too many immigrants from one or two countries endangers this country’s security because the new immigrants may be loyal to their motherland? This seems so last century thought, but I bet it will be a concern of a small group of people, for instance, those would benefit from a conflict. I hope we will have the confidence and common sense to look at things. Foreign countries and foreigners are definitely different, but are not as evil as they think. Human beings have similar or same emotions, belief, ethical standard, and value system. Once the new immigrants live here long enough, they will build up more attachment and have more or less the same way of thinking and doing things as everyone else does.

    Does this make sense to you? Would love to hear different thoughts.

    • Ash K says:

      Happy, I was just looking at the EB5 visa issued numbers for the past few years. For mainland born Chinese below are the visas issued for the past 3 years:
      In FY2017, 7567 visas
      In FY2016, 7516 visas
      In FY2015, 7616 visas out of a total of only 8773 visas issued to all countries in that year.

      So basically, a bulk of the visas are already being issued to mainland born Chinese irrespective of the 7% per country limit. So per country limits didn’t matter much in the past years, the high influx of Chinese applicants was the cause of the problem.

      EB5 interest from other countries is increasing as we speak, but because of the per country limits in place to all countries, when Indians or Vietnamese investors cross the 7% threshold in any given year, they will go back and wait behind the Chinese investors. So, the early Chinese investors still get priority over other country applicants. I can also say with a certain degree of certainty, that removing the per country limits will not stop the problem for Chinese investors. Infact more Chinese investors will invest in the coming years, because of the misinformation that will again be spread by the migration agents in China promising a green card in 5 years to a new set of investors.

      Bottomline is, there are only 10,000 visas (3300 EB5 petitions), the demand from China is way too high. This problem will continue for China.

      • ypqj says:

        You are too optimistic,very few Chinese will apply eb5,old investors had told them this fraud caused by USCIS!

      • happy says:


        Demand (I-526 petitions) from other countries jumped since 2015. It takes a little over three years to reflect that demand with visa allocation. So this year, only 4675 to Chinese. Next year and the year after, 3500 and 3000 based on projection.

        On a first-come and first-serve basis, China will once again dominate the market. The demand won’t be as strong as 2016/2017, due to wide spread knowledge of long wait-time and price increase.

        There is a reason why China dominates the EB-5 market. The simple answer is that it is harder for mainland Chinese to come to the US via other ways, and its booming housing market happens to support the SOF requirement.

        For instance, Chinese students needs higher scores to be admitted to US colleges and have less chance to get H1B visa (not verified, but this is what I was told). If we look at the 365,000 immigration visa issued last year, China received less than 50,000. So China’s share of immigration visa is 13.6%, far less than its population share of 20%.

        The 10,000 EB-5 visa is just a drop in the bucket. E2 visa alone, was issued to over 40K applicants last year. Because China is not a treaty country, China received 0.

        So the EB-5 program should really be expanded once its bad image associated with gerrymandering is cleaned. Not just because a lot of people want to it, but because the number is too pathetically small compared to other programs, and because the program is indeed promoting economic development and social cohesion by providing capital to undeserved community.

        Fraud will always be more frequent than domestic investment because of the lack of regulation in foreign countries. But investors are getting smarter. One evidence is the posting from these investors in this wonderful forum. My selfish wish is that every Chinese investor will need to be assisted by licensed security professionals in the US, although the self-serving wish will significantly benefit the investors and the entire market.

      • Kishore says:

        Exactly. 80 percent of GC’s are anyway going to China in EB5 and i dont get why the chinese are ranting. The problem is not the system. It’s the numbers. 10K is limit. No one can raise the limit cause a billion chinese/indians want to leave china/india.

        • As I mentioned in the other comment, there’s a self-interest issue here for the U.S. Someone might raise the limits to accommodate the beneficial fact that thousands of Chinese and Indians want to give us their capital and human resources. Investment for job creation is a very valuable resource, as are well educated and skilled people. President Trump agrees that our immigration system is dumb if it doesn’t match our interests.

  21. Zoe Ma says:

    I would vote for removing per country limit because it levels the play field. Let the Indians and the Vietnamese feel the pain that the Chinese are feeling. Backlog hurts!

    Sorry those EB-5 managers, migration agents and other professionals forgot to tell you about backlogs before you invest. They are not in the business to tell you all those risks associated with EB-5 investment no matter how they try to glorify their roles. That’s the really truth of EB-5!

  22. Zoe Ma says:

    @kishore, if you only have short term memory, just remember Great Recession 2008 started in Wall Street, USA!

    kishore says:
    July 30, 2018 at 6:55 pm
    Lol there are billion fraud companies in china. Please !

    • Kishore says:

      lol i wonder than why you want to leave your great country and migrate to USA ? i mean you seem so patriotic about China and smacking down on America. Perhaps Republic of Tanzania might suit you better.

    • AZ says:

      This is a great blog and not really the place to argue shit like this. Like the backlog is not annoying enough ! I vote for banning unnecessary commenting all together haha.

  23. Not Angry Chinese Investor says:

    I think immigration is a privilege not an entitlement. BUT for me it feels the same as being treated as Chinese miners during the gold rush, being promised something that is not delivered. I personally think the current per country limit makes sense, since China claims the leftover. The problem is the number of visa allocated per year does not address the demand. Maybe the 10,000 limit should be interpreted as number of families and the investment amount be doubled.

    @Suzanne Really appreciate your blog and professional writings. It is THE place to find most relevant and updated information about EB-5. Thank you very much!

    • Kishore says:

      EB5 limit is 10,000. China gets 8000 per year. So what is the problem ? the rest of the word gets 2000. The chinese want to take that away too. They are not going to raise the 10,000 cap.

      • If Congress raises the limit, it won’t be to do a favor to any country, but to do a favor for the U.S., realizing that we obviously benefit from and thus should accommodate demand to invest capital and create jobs in our country. I think this argument can and should find hearing.

  24. Chris says:

    Given the effectiveness of the EB-5 business lobby, I don’t think there is really much of a chance that this amendment will get enacted. The effect after the transition period (FY2019-2021) would be to kill the EB-5 business case (direct or RC) for a decade or more.

    During the transition period, nothing would really change for the rest of the world as for FY 2019 15% of all visas would be set aside for all countries excluding China and South Korea, for FY 2020 10% of all visas (again excluding China and South Korea) and for FY 2021 it would be another 10%, this time excluding China and Vietnam. Those set asides represent pretty much the visa allocation pattern for the last few years. Only after that (beginning October 2021) would it be a first come first served approach, but only after the backlog of all older priority date filings have been processed.

    Since there are more than 25’000 petitions currently pending with an average of 3 visas per petition, it would easily take 8 years or more before this backlog is absorbed, but passing the amendment would likely lead to a last surge in FY2019 and probably FY2020 for I-526 applications from the rest of the world, hoping to get one of the reserved visas before FY2022 comes around, in that case the petitions from retrogressed countries will have to wait probably 10 years or more before they can expect a visa. During that time this pathway to US residency and citizenship would be dead (until Congress allocates more visas to EB-5).

    And I think that is what this is all about….

    • Bo says:

      Are you sure that there is a transition period? It definitely exists for EB-2/EB-3 but according many internet resources, not for EB-5. Even immigration attaorneys have mixed opinions, see for example here:

      • Chris says:

        I think you are correct, I missed the qualification for EB2/EB3 in the Yoder amendment as passed. I am sure this impact on EB-5 was not intended so if this provision goes all the way, I would expect that at least in the reconciled version between the House and the Senate they will correct that. Unless of course the entire amendment gets killed before. What a cliffhanger…

  25. Optimistic Indian says:

    Thank you Suzanne, for meticulously maintaining the blog and acting as punching bag for the frustrated investors.

    To be fair, I have a EB2 pending and my wife has a EB3 pending and we also have a EB5 pending. So our family benefits in either case scenarios.

    Objectively, if the per country quota is removed, practically the EB5 visa program is dead. Thats given. Especially with the potential increase in the investment amounts, no new investor from any country will be willing to invest in the EB5 category considering the enormous wait times.

    Is this acceptable to EB5 Industry? Definitely not. They will certainly influence the vote and I am not sure how much any of us can influence the legislative outcome other than yell at each other or worse use Suzanne as the punching bag. I would like to see a discussion how a meaningful resolution is found and mostly importantly how it can be achieved.

  26. Optimistic Indian says: – Here is the video Rep. Yoder on the H.R.392 removing per country limits.

    • kishore says:

      lol immigration voice is an ponzi org raising millions of dollar and brainwashing people that they will get anything done. I wouldnt read much into their videos.

  27. Raj says:

    This is very bad , for the Eb-5 market . It will effectively kill the market . No other markets will be of any value ( India , Brazil , viatenam …..)

    China is already slowing down . And as soon as Chinese know of backlog they will not invest any ways .

    Eb-5 market is only sustainable when the base is from multiple countries and not one .

  28. harvey says:

    support hr1044

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