Country cap discussion (H.R.1044, S.386, S.2091, S.Amdt.939. D/26-3)

— Original Post from 7/3–

How many EB-5 visas are available today to offer prospective investors?

If visas were simply allocated in order by priority date, then the answer would be 0, until about the year 2027. That’s assuming 74,000+ EB-5 investors plus family already in line divided by 10,000 EB-5 visas available annually equals 7.4 years to clear the backlog and have visas available for new investors. If visas were simply allocated in FIFO order, then all past investors in the queue would be looking at a wait of less than 8 years, with timing graded by priority dates.

As it is, visas are allocated in order by priority date subject to per-country limits. Under current rules, 3,000 to 6,000 visas are practically available to new investors annually in the coming years. (=10,000 annual quota – 1,400 annually promised to past investors from India and Vietnam under the per-country limits – 3,000 to 5,000 to be claimed annually by past investors from miscellaneous countries that are under the limit and gradually emerging from the I-526 process.) Thanks to the Chinese Student Protection Act, past Chinese investors get no by-right allocation, but priority dates give Chinese first priority for whatever is leftover. The current rules of FIFO plus per-country caps mean that visa waits for past investors vary widely from no time at all to over 16 years.

The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act proposes to change the rules, and do away with country limits for employment-based visas and the China visa reduction. Normally I just disregard rumblings from Congress, assuming they’ll come to nothing, but there’s been significant movement on H.R.1044 – Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019. This bill now has 311 co-sponsors — 75% of the House. Zoe Lofgren moved on June 18 to have HR 1044 placed on the Consensus Calendar, which means it could be brought to a vote (Update: now scheduled for consideration the week of July 8) although it hasn’t been reported out of committee. It’s likely that momentum will die in the Senate, whose a mirror bill S.386 has less traction so far. (Update: The Senate bill now has action as well, with an amendment to address H-1B concerns.) Since the proposal seems so popular, I discuss the EB-5 implications.

I suspect that the bill is mainly popular for its nice title – fairness for high-skilled immigrants – and that few people have undertaken the extraordinarily difficult task of reading it and thinking through the practical effects.

Here’s my attempt to interpret the H.R. 1044 text (which differs from the Yoder Amendment text we discussed last year, mainly by adding a three-year transition period). The new HR1044 tab in my Backlog Calc Excel shows my best attempt at a quantitative analysis of the EB-5 implications. Based on this work, I draw these conclusions about what H.R. 1044 would mean to a variety of EB-5 stakeholders:

  • Past EB-5 investors from China: Under HR 1044, would receive visas at least 3-5 years earlier than under current rules
  • Past EB-5 investors from India: Under HR 1044, priority dates in 2017 and earlier would not be much affected, but investors with 2018/2019 priority dates would receive visas 3-4 years later than under current rules.
  • Past EB-5 investors from Vietnam: Under HR 1044, priority dates in 2016 would not be much affected, but investors with 2018/2019 priority dates would receive visas 2-3 years later than under current rules.
  • Past EB-5 investors other countries: Under HR 1044, priority dates after 2017 would receive visas 3-5 years later than under current rules.
  • Future EB-5 investors from any country: Under HR 1044, EB-5 investors from any country who file shortly after the date of enactment would wait 7-8 years for visa.
  • EB-5 industry: Would likely go into hibernation, except for services to past investors, for 7-8 years (or not, if prospective investors are willing to face the wait times)

The bill attempts a “no harm” provision, providing that those with a petition approved before the new rules take effect would be given a visa no later than they would’ve received it under the old rules. That’s cold comfort for EB-5, however, because about half of the backlog of past investors is still stuck at USCIS, waiting for petitions to be adjudicated. (Also, I don’t know how Department of State would implement the provision – “would have beens” being impossible to calculate with precision in the EB-5 visa context.) As a reminder, here’s the last EB-5 visa backlog snapshot provided by Department of State, estimating where people were in line as of April 1, 2019. At least the 73,157 people represented on this chart would be affected one way or other by HR 1044, if it became law.

Here are EB-5 groups attempting to influence Congress one way or another on The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act:


12/17: David North thinks that this is the final language of Mike Lee’s renegotiated Fairness for High-skilled Immigrants Act. This version would still eliminate the country caps on all EB visas (including EB-5), with no transition period for EB-5, and no savings provision for people with pending I-526 petitions. It offers the chance to file I-485 before the visa is available, which would be nice. (I believe this offer applies to EB-5, though the text on exceptions is extremely difficult to read.) There will reportedly be another attempt to get this through the Senate by unanimous consent on 12/19.
10/16: Senator Durban, the senator most recently responsible for holding up Mike Lee’s S.386 proposal to eliminate the country cap on EB visas, has now introduced alternative backlog relief legislation: Resolving Extended Limbo for Immigrant Employees and Families (RELIEF) Act. The bill text for S.2603 has not been published yet, but I’ll report further when I’ve read it. Cato Institute has a nice analysis of the bill’s content, implications, and (extremely slim) prospects.
9/30: Cato Institute has published a quantitative analysis of the Fairness for Highskilled Immigrants Act. An excellent article by Ira Kurzban has also been brought to my attention.
9/26: Now Senator Durban has stepped up to block unanimous consent to the Fairness for Highskilled Immigrants Act
9/25: Senator Purdue has agreed to drop his opposition to the Fairness for Highskilled Immigrants Act. I wait with bated breath to see what happens next.
9/19: There has been another attempt to get Fairness for Highskilled Immigrants Act through the Senate by unanimous consent, temporarily blocked by Senator David Perdue. Apparently the country cap proposal still has life after all, with the enormous power of Silicon Valley campaign donations possibly even competitive with the enormous power of Congressional inertia. Here is my summary of the most recent language: S.Amdt.939 to H.R.1044. Like S.386, this most recent version removes all EB visas (including EB-5) from the per-country cap, but omits EB-5 from the transition period, and limits the no-harm provision to people who have approved I-526 petitions on the date of enactment.
7/22: Nothing seems to be happening with the country caps proposals anymore. There’s been no reported action in the Senate on S.386, and Rand Paul has not bothered to announce S.2091 or collect any cosponsors.
7/11: Rand Paul, one of the Senators responsible for blocking S.386 in the Senate, will reportedly introduce a country caps proposal of his own in S.2091 Backlog Elimination, Legal Immigration, and Employment Visa Enhancement Act (BELIEVE Act). As time permits I’ll make a spreadsheet for S.2091, which would be much better for EB-5 since it proposes to significantly increase visa availability in addition to changing the per-country limitation. Probably it is too good to be popular, however. (Update: I made this document to highlight/interpret EB-5-relevant language in S.2091.)
7/10: H.R. 1044 passed the House today. S.386 has also made progress thanks to the addition on 7/10 of an amendment with H-1B provisions designed to broaden its appeal. The Senate’s version of the The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act differs from the House version in omitting EB-5 from the transition period. I added a tab for S.386 to my Backlog Calc Excel file to attempt to model this effect. The calculations suggest that H.R. 1044 and S.386 would have about the same effect on people with 2018 and 2019 priority dates (in either bill, it looks as if 2018 priority dates would start receiving EB-5 visas around 2025, and 2019 priority dates around 2027). S. 386 would be 2-3 years better than HR 1044 for China-born applicants with priority dates up to 2017, and 2-3 years worse than H.R. 1044 for applicants from other countries. In both the House and Senate versions, The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act is good for everyone in EB-5 with an old priority date (China) and bad for everyone who doesn’t want to move back in line behind the China backlog. I regret to say that the most informative article I’ve read so far on the politics around The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act is Brietbart’s Kevin McCarthy, 140 GOP Reps Vote for Democrat Plan to Outsource Jobs (July 10, 2019). The article includes this interesting quote:

The Department of Homeland Security finally announced its opposition to the Senate’s version — S.386 — of the legislation…:

The Department of Homeland Security does not support S. 386. The bill would do nothing to move the current employer-sponsored system toward a more merit-based system. The adverse effect on immigrant visa wait times for nationals of countries currently with lesser demand would be an obstacle to any potential plan to promote or increase immigration from countries who immigrants present reduced risk, such as Visa Waiver Program countries, or any other class of countries which the Administration may desire to provide preferential treatment (e.g., countries with which the U.S. has negotiated favorable trade deals).

The statement was signed by Joseph Joh, Assistant Director and Senior Adviser for the Office of Legislative Affairs at DHS.

And additional analysis from the same source: Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg Try to Sneak ‘Country Cap’ Prize from President Donald Trump (July 18, 2019)

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

106 Responses to Country cap discussion (H.R.1044, S.386, S.2091, S.Amdt.939. D/26-3)

  1. kishore says:

    To be fair the administration is correcting all the mistakes done in EB5. Regional center definition has been a joke. Real estate developers in Mahattan and Los angeles or Miami should never been allowed to be classified as RC’s. They have abused the rules and this will be the price they pay. EB5 program will soon mean what it was supposed to be, to develop rural america. The free money from China (get out of the country citizens) is now drying up and the whole program will be a free fall for the future especially with the trade war going on .. I still think EB5 program should be charging 5 million to begin.

  2. nic says:

    Susan, what happen if this H4 1044 goes into effect while my I-526 is still pending?

    • Indian says:

      If you are not born in China and S386 goes into effect you will not get GC for about 10+ years.

      If you are not born in China or Vietnam and HR1044 goes into effect you will not get GC for about 10+ years. Some Vietnamese will be doomed with HR1044 as well but many will escape due to transition rules.

      Note that the bills differ in their transition provisions which is why I have 2 answers above for you.

      • Franchesca says:

        This is terrible new. I CANNOT nor my family memebers wait 10 years. It is so unfair because when you come to study you only see Indian students. It is almost as you were not in America but India. And now, they want to make everything Indian. It feels horrible and uncomfortable to study in a place where your ethnicity is so suppred. This are vile legislations. We already invested over 1 million. This is a desperate situation. We cannot pass this.

  3. Roberto Virga says:

    One rare instance in which I’m glad the senate has become a legislative graveyard.

  4. kishore says:

    Election year coming soon. These bill could be a mile far from passing. Democrats will add illegals to the bill and it gets stalled. Rinse and repeat same mantra every year

    • Indian says:

      One should never live in a positive dream. Things can change in a flash. We Indians need to get our act together and do something to make sure we don’t regret latter. We need to get those bill fixed to make sure they don’t harm existing people in pipeline with pending petitions.

      • eric yao says:

        Agreed. “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” Albert Einstein

      • Franchesca says:

        This will be terrible for my family. We have been studying in the US for 10 years. Now another 10 years just to get the visa? Thisis unacceptable. Seriously, we need to find another solution. This legistation cannot pass. It would devastate 10 years of hard work. At least H1b can work and sustain their families. We have the last money we had to EB5.

  5. Bella says:

    Most opinions are right, but wrong about the hibernation. 7-8 years of waiting time can be accepted by tons of Chinese and Indians. If the bill passed, the biggest market wil revive, much better than the market now. So it bettet for the whole industry.

    • Indian says:

      Bella how long does the market Revive for? The program can absorb only ~3k investors per year without ever mounting backlogs. Even at the current sick point of the industry the number of investors are ~6k so even at this low point it’s adding backlog +1 year each year.

      If you mean market revives to the highs of about ~15k per year then it will be adding +4 year of backlog each year. So only 2 years after that revival the backlog will be 16 years for everyone and it will die again. What’s the point of that so short lived revival at cost of investors from all other countries for benefit of investors from one country.

      The only revival opportunity is removing derivatives or increasing visa count nothing else can revive market. All other purported revival promises are self serving bogus ideas for a certain class.

      • eric yao says:

        It would be nice if EB-5 can receive more visas. However, if not (most likely), a combination of the new regulation (with price increase to $1.35mm) and removal of country cap might not be a bad choice. Without the removal of country cap, China faces 20+ years wait time. India and Vietnam will soon get there. China, India and Vietnam, we are talking about over 90% of the market share. If I were a regional center, why would I give up the 90% and stick to the 10%, especially when the 10% would become 2% when $1.35mm price tag hits the investors. I am much better off to target the potential 90%, and hope the high price tag would not make the 90% demand lose too much. Let’s say, from 90% to 20%. This 20%, plus the other 2%, total 22% might just be enough to create 3500 investors per year, perfect supply and demand. We can always adjust the price tag in the future so all 10,000 visa will be utilized.

        • Arunkumar says:

          Eric Yao your point is correct increase in Investment Is fine with a confirmed visa availability the industry will stay on and investors will be happy too

        • James says:

          No immigration bill will pass the senate and the president won’t sign a law where Indians and Chinese flood the country . What Indians need to do is build more toilets in their country and Chinese need to go back to their communist countries

    • chunyu tian says:

      if the 1044,and 386 passed, the eb5 can keep running. China is a big market

    • Ning says:

      Passing H1044/S386 will help to cast a predictable waiting time for the people who are currently in the backlog (existing petitioners), as well as the prospective petitioners. The queueing time calculation is the vital piece to restore investors’ confidence in EB5.

      • Franchesca says:

        No, do not dare to lie. HR1044 at the same time will hard and destroy Latin Americans who desperately need to flee dictatorships and extreme poverty. HR1044 is not fairness of skilled. It is privilage for Indians. How dare they say they are suffering when they have salaries of 80 000 dollars? Did you know in my country people get 2000 a year? How dare steal the rights from those people in extreme circumstances? The worst part of this is the title. A complete FARSE!!!!!!!!

  6. eric yao says:

    The US should not discriminate based on country of origin. That’s much fairer than the current practice, period!

    • Indian says:

      Absolutely the only criteria should be English test score.

    • kishore says:

      and the chinese govt should stop muslim discrimination based on religion. That much fairer than the current concentration camps

    • Franchesca says:

      They are not discriminating. The H1B also discriminates all the rest of the world (196 countries) do not get it. If this bill passes every single human that is NOT either Chinese or Indian will live in depression for the rest of their lives. It is unfair that one or two countries take all legal immigration benefits. The rest of the world also chose the right way but are not over allocating their people. If China and India are good economies, what is your argument for leaving the country?

      • lik says:

        Agree.. They are 500,000 indian & chinese GC applicants as compared to only lets say just 10, 000 in the rest of the world. This bill won’t give a chance to highly skilled professionals as well from other countries. Frankly, I have encountered Indian managers and no matter how good you are at work, they would sometimes fail to regularize or pass you to give way to fellow indian workers.

      • eric yao says:

        When the wait time depends largely on the country of origin, not the time of petition, it is called “discrimination”. This how the existing rule works. When “the rest of world (196 countries)” would have to wait longer if we remove the country-based discrimination, we are simply returning fairness back to everybody. The wait time should be based on the time of petitions, not on things that are not relevant to benefits of our society. For instance, the petitioner’s gender, age, country of origin etc.

        The change is no different than the removal of the old discriminating rule that granted the privilege of white people sitting in good seats in a bus. After the removal, white people’s right of sitting in good seats was restricted – they would have to come earlier than the colored people to get a good seat. Same to EB-5, first come, first serve. This is called FAIRNESS!

  7. sam says:

    Well me personally blame USCIS should take main responsibility for continuing accepting EB5 petitions while only around 3500 case/year for investors to share. And USCIS is not doing anything just let backlog becomes more and more serious.
    Back to country limit, a relative normal size EB5 project provides around 50-100seats/cases (some even way larger like hundreds), Which means only 2 or 3 maybe 5 projects sold will reach the country’s yearly quota and triggers backlog, then the rest of the investors doing EB5 from their country gotta share with the whole world, while China/India/Vietnam has being already sharing, and soon will be all other countries. So no matter Hr1044’s passed or not, it won’t be benefiting the whole market, or be enough visas for the whole market. Well… I am not opposing HR1044, it should be absolutely right, like said, people get hired by their skills and professions not their country of birth, same for EB5 investors.
    Unless major changes like increase yearly quota or not counting spouse or children will ease the backlog, otherwise, backlog is gonna ruin the whole program, well gotta say, it already has. But unfortunately it seems have very very little chance to happen because legal immigrants issue are never benefiting either side once it comes to politics.

    • Kelly says:

      Some brought the idea to USCIS before why accepting so many EB5 petitions while there are not enough visas. It was heard that USICIS have no right to stop accepting EB5 petitions.

      Almost every U.S. immigration category have long waiting list. Maybe they just get used to visa backlog. However, unlike others, EB5 cost $550000 US dolllors. As investors, we take granted that since we paid, wo donot deserve such long waiting time like others. Nevertheless, the whole U.S. value seems donot care much about money. Our investment seems less importment to them than we think.

      I agree with you that someone in gov. should be responsible for EB5 petitions accepting controlling. If one business grows limitlessly and ruthlesely in the name of an
      outdated immigration law, which hurts not only its customers but also the reputation of this law. It is time to end it or reform it!

    • tpk129 says:

      Our system doesn’t work this way. People are free to do whatever they want, even if it isn’t smart.

      The people to blame are the applicants, their attorneys if they failed to discuss wait times, and Regional Centers if they were marketing their projects with a time range for green card awards. There was bountiful information about projected wait times and why people didn’t listen, is beyond me. India’s regression has been forecasted for over a year and even the month was indicated, yet people kept piling in.

      We’re a land of freedoms and that includes allowing people to enjoy success and also to make mistakes. What precisely do you want the government to do to fix a problem someone got themselves in to?

      • An important problem is that wait time information has not been bountiful. We did not get country-specific backlog info until 2017, Charles Oppenheim did not start to give detailed presentations on the EB-5 backlog until 2018, and even now we get aggregate I-526 data only quarterly and on a 3-5-month delay, I-526 by country data only by special requests usually not honored, and NVC backlog info only once or twice a year. At the moment, for example, incoming Indian investors face a visa wait that could be anywhere from 8 to about 14 years depending on what’s happened with Indian I-526 filings since October 2018 — we just don’t know, not having data for that yet. And the industry does not hesitate to make hay while darkness reigns over whatever’s the real situation. If petition intake is to continue uncontrolled, then I think at least the government should be more active in providing information that makes informed decisions possible.

        • tpk129 says:

          Understand what you’re saying and points well taken, but even with the information out there, people are still rushing to file applications that will result in extremely long wait times….and there will be some spike when the new regs are published. Information provided starting in 2017 wasn’t that late when you consider the timing of significant backlogs…a year to two years before?

          Perhaps a feeble argument can be made for applicants not being aware, but the attorneys advising them and the Regional Centers taking their money knew the score of the game. They didn’t care, all they wanted were the fees and the equity!

          It is not the Federal governments obligations to tell people not to apply…even when they presented information, people are still jumping in.

          • Kelly says:

            Chinese Market has slowed down after 2018 because more and more people realized the long waiting time. Why huge number rushed in before 2018? That is because the information is not bountiful, as Suzanne said.

            It is no use to blame anyone now since it already happened. Peasonally, I donot think freedom can be the excuse of EB5 mess now. Freedom is not free to hurt others in order to benefit oneself. Now, tens of thousands of Chinese investors’ tragedy have feed numerous EB5 stakeholders.

            I donot want to compare U.S. with other countries. However, after I knew Canada & Australia Government control the investment visa volume every year or even every quarter, I have to say I am disappointed. Freedom is not equal to indulgence and disorder.

          • tpk129 says:

            This is simply untrue. The information was known at least in March 2016…, and thousands more signed up after the information was made available. My guess is if I looked further, I would find the information was available earlier.

            Why did Chinese people keep investing and applying for an EB-5 visa given the excess? Maybe they didn’t do their homework or relied on unscrupulous agents, but certainly the attorneys and Regional Centers knew the volume and that waitlists had to be increasing given that applications far exceeded the per country quota as well as the total.

            I feel a great deal of sympathy for the people in the queue, but the fact is it is not the US government’s fault and we aren’t a country that will babysit people and tell them not to do something. It is horrible, but the rancor directly at the government is not warranted. They didn’t create the problem and they don’t have any obligation to make life easier for applicants…they may choose to do so, but nothing says they have to and they don’t bear responsibility for the mess.

            Keep in mind much larger immigration matters are being address including more than 100,000 people seeking asylum at our southern border each month. The government is focused on this matter, as they should, and not what will happen with a few thousand applicants investing $500K to get a US green card. Whether EB-5 applicants have to wait a few years is not something that would be considered a priority. If I remember correctly, the existing EB-5 rules don’t make a commitment to give an applicant a green card within a specified period of time.

            Again, I feel for all the people and their families affected, but look at what you did and with whom you invested with and advised you…the government isn’t going to, nor should they, bail you out of something like this.

  8. x2 says:

    This is correct on a first come, first served basis. If you don’t reform now, Indians will soon fall into an endless visa backlog.

  9. tpk129 says:

    Hard to believe that anything will come with these bills. People are drastically overestimating the importance of EB-5 in the minds Congress and American voters. I haven’t heard one member of Congress say we have to help more Chinese and Indians immigrate to the U.S. May be important to the applicant, but not to anyone else.

    After we see the new EB-5 regs, life will change for everyone and there will be plenty of slots available going forward meaning the backlog will run off in time. Coming up with $1 million or more to obtain a green card is a lot different than $500,000 and new applicants will be scarce during the next few years.

    Legislative action regarding EB-5 may arrive during the next recession…doubtful changes will occur given the significance of the new regs.

    • Kelly says:

      Your idea is rational. I agree with u that people are drastically overestimating the importance of EB-5 in the minds of Congress and American voters.

  10. tpk129 says:

    …should read…”in the minds of Congress and American voters”. Sorry…I got too excited and didn’t properly review my post! 🙂

  11. Don says:

    Dear Suzanne, I am in the process of applying before the new rules come into effect. Under your bullet point number 4, even if I get the I-526 approved the next year 2019, it will be 2023/24 before I get the visa, correct?

    • I do think it’s very unlikely that Congress, which has hardly managed to do anything, and certainly nothing with immigration, will actually pass HR 1044. So I wouldn’t worry too much about that. There might still be a visa wait under current rules, depending on where you were born. My timing estimates service can estimate a wait for particular priority date.

    • arunkumar says:

      Sir with all due respect the i526 will take 25 to 45 months as per uscis you may be lucky if it get approved earlier and what regulations will be passed in the coming 2 years will effect the prospect of getting visas in 2023/24 i take its impossible to predict now with hr1044 bill in process ond new rule from omb expected ant time its very unpredictable i am just waiting to see what comes out higher investment and clarity over visa is better than the current process

  12. Indian says:

    EB-5 industries expert & IIUSA do something with HR1044. We don’t want this bill to move forward. It practically kill EB-5 industries for next 10 years.

    Bill is coming on the house floor as early as next Tue or Wed. -> next week bill voting list.

    It’s added for voting under house suspension rule so it passes without any objection.

    • confused says:

      please explain what does it mean? will it pass now? if so who will get affected?

      • The post was my best attempt to answer these questions

        • confused says:

          Agree, I mean if voting under house suspension, does it make more chance to get it pass ? Because earlier you said “I do think it’s very unlikely that Congress, which has hardly managed to do anything, and certainly nothing with immigration, will actually pass HR 1044. So I wouldn’t worry too much about that.”

        • Luke says:

          Does this new amendment regarding H1b change the outlook for S386 or do you still feel that this passing into law is improbable? I believe that Sen R.Paul’s motives for blocking the bill was not H1B related.

    • ooo says:

      Nearly 600K Indian EB2 and EB3 ppl who are waiting for decades are lobbying and waiting for this bill to pass, I know there are pros and cons for each bill. But like in EB5 where every year the left over visas from rest of the world are allocated to China (high demanding country) if the same is done in EB2 and EB3 the need for 1044 never arises.

      In my opinion discussion about all these amendments and 1044 which will be “Killing EB5” is a joke…to begin with America has never been benefiting through EB5, except RCs and Real Estate Builders. Even without investors these Real Estate Builders will build these properties through back loads except they now have this EB5 category which they exploit and get literally no interest loan for 5 years and show the already existing jobs as new jobs created. Like every category in US Immigration has a loop hole in EB5 world the name is RCs.

      • Whitewalker23 says:

        Your statement is not true. India already receives the excess and unused visas in EB2 / EB3. That is why proposal like HR1044 has low likelihood to pass. Country cap is fair to “everyone”, and is a non-issue – removing it will only make matters worse for everyone including Indians.

        • ooo says:

          I agree that in EB1,2,3 spill over exist but they are within the country limit, meaning if EB1 India dont you their cap they automatically spill over to EB2 and so on to EB3, but this is all within the given country limit of 7%, however in case of EB5 it happens across countries meaning all unused visas in the 10K will be allotted to countries in demand (China).

          • Indian says:

            Ooo your understanding is incorrect.
            – spillover no longer happen out of eb1,2,3,5 all because all these categories are backlogged.
            – any surplus in eb1,2,3 in soaked by India and thats how India has always received over 20k GC/year in eb categories. 7% limit is only 10k, combined all eb categories.
            – there is no country specific difference in how spillover (if available) is handled in different categories.

  13. Pingback: House to Vote This Week on Bill That Would Remove Per-Country Visa Caps on EB-5 Program - Investment Migration Insider

  14. VC says:

    As an Indian who has EB2 in April 2015 and EB5 in Sep 2019(Expedited approved, still pending)- should I be happy for HR1044 or not?

    I guess am screwed either ways.

  15. VC says:

    As an Indian with EB2 approved in 2015 and EB5 pending(Sep 2019- Expedited approved), I guess am not benefiting either-ways – HR1044 or not.

  16. tpk129 says:

    Suzanne…isn’t this advertising and not allowed on the site. Really pushy about subscribing!

    Also, what the heck is US Visa Dairy? Do they have Holsteins or Guernseys?

  17. tpk129 says:

    I think you can kiss this bill good bye. Once Trump and other Republicans see what Hannity has to say…it simply won’t go anywhere!

    Sean Hannity Slams Green Card Giveaway Bill Backed by 100 GOP Reps…

  18. vijay patel says:

    priority date in September 2017 will get benefit for Indian born EB 5 applicant with new bill ( HR 1044 ) or not ?

    • arunkumar says:

      I am sorry if the senate passes the bill and the president signs it and if its law you will be the worst hit as current visa bulletin has may 2017 priority date for indians next financial year you would have got the visa but not if the law is passed you will have to wait more than 7 years as all the 70000 approx applications prior to 2017 will get benefit from this bill

      • anillegalimmigrant says:

        What about the China Born investor, priority date November 2018?I’m guessing, 8 years from now?

    • Kishore says:

      you dont need HR 1044. you should get GC in a year assuming your 526 is approved. if hr1044 by a miracle gets through senate expect 10+ year wait time added to you. All chinese apps before you will need to be approved before you can get GC.

  19. EB5swordsmen says:

    Hi, Suzanne, loyal fan for years. thank you for your hardwork, but sometimes your blog was mistranslated by purpose and spread on China Wechat. Do you mind to do something regarding that? Please contact if interested.

  20. Rajesh Patel says:

    HI Suzanne, My I-526 is applied on April 2019. Is retrogression is application to my application? DO I have to wait to 8.5 years for get green card? Appreciate your input.

    • Anillegalimmigrant says:

      I believe if the bill passes, and your I-526 is approved during the 3-year protection period, then you are more likely to get your visa unless your are China or Vietnam-born.

    • kishore says:

      Assuming you country of charge is India your current estimated wait time is 8.4 years before you apply for the final stage of green card ( aka consular processing to get immigrant visa or apply for adjustment of status by filing i-485). Also remember this estimate was as of April 2019. Realistically you will wait 9+ years. This is based on the current law. Yes Retrogression applies to your application

    • Sid says:

      If you were born in India, you have to wait 8.5 years + whether or not the bill passes. If it doesn’t pass, then you have to wait for all the 4000+ Indians to get their green cards first (but India is limited to 700 visas/year). If it passes, then you have to wait for 70000+ Chinese to get their visas first and the 10000+ from other countries that applied before you. So either way, there is a log wit for you.

    • Rajesh Patel says:

      sorry there was type on year, it is April 2018, NOT 2019

  21. Harry says:

    Any investment visa should not have wait time at all, as investment are time sensitive..!! Secondly, it should be market driven which means, if there are more buyers investment price should go up and less, it will go down..!! For that matter 500k is not big amount for many of the people from India & china & we see so much rush here.!!

    If investment amount goes up al east those who can afford will not have to wait this endless game else there is no diff between Eb2,3 & EB-5.. This is insane to first invest and then wait for 10 yrs with no returns to get a GC..!! This NEEDS to be fixed no matter what it takes (even if increasing to 5 Million )..

    • arunkumar says:

      i absolutely agree with harry, all of the other countries other than US have a specific time frame when the residency is given to investors some countries have high investment some have less thats fair, so i feel for the great country is called EB5 has to change for better
      the investment goes up thats fine but there should be a time frame when the GC will be alloted

      • tpk129 says:

        Completely understand your frustration, but things don’t work this way.

        The U.S. has a tremendous wait list for the EB-5 program and Congress doesn’t have any incentive to modify it. They’re are senior senators who want to dismantle the program and it is doubtful than any of them are going to spend any time and effort trying to fix it…other than to vote to kill it.

        • Harry says:

          Thanks tpk129 for your reply. The bill & regulation combined together, gives a rare opportunity fix this broken path which does not give any benefit to investors or for matter to corporate who takes the money..!!

          If the investment amount increases, less number of people will apply but the overall dollar contribution would be equal or more. Right kind of people who can afford it, will get the chance..!! What currently looks to me is Louis Vuitton bags are being sold at dollar tree store price & hence the rush..!!

          • eric yao says:

            But the middlemen are getting a fat Louis Vutton commission irrelevant to Dollar Tree pricing. Less investors means less income. The whole deal structure and distribution system needs to be restructured to improve alignment of interests between the middlemen, sponsors, and investors, and mitigate agency risks.

          • tpk129 says:

            The program has many warts and needs to be revised, but I don’t see anyone in Congress championing EB-5…in fact, several vocal senators want to get rid of it completely.(Suzanne would know better) Too many other issues and this is really a very small piece of legislation.

            Congress isn’t going to make the investment amounts float with demand…they simply aren’t smart enough to manage something like this. Look at the back logs for employment type green cards and tell me who was watching this disaster happen backlogs over 100 years? A few Chinese and Indians waiting a couple more years for their green cards isn’t going to spur any senator to do something.

            The minimum investment levels should have been adjusted to match inflation when EB-5 became law. The fact was there was so little interest for almost 25 years and then things got away from the people in charge of the program and they didn’t know what to do. The USCIS knows immigration, they don’t know business and economic theory…no one was watching the program and proposing changes on a timely basis.

  22. Don says:

    Are any REGnews imminent?

    • Plenty of rumor this way and that, as you can see from tpk129’s comments above. But there’s nothing to know for sure until the publication happens, and publication will be well announced. DHS said last week that the regs were still on track to be published “relatively soon.” (This and anything else verifiable I put on

      • The Final Rule for the EB-5 Modernization Regulation will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow. A Public Inspection version of the final rule is available at

        • indian says:

          Even if you invest half million today ( before price rise in November 2019) Waiting period is for 8.4 years. after 21 nov 2018, 1.8 mil investment and waiting period above 10 years. wow!! congratulation for modernization of EB5. RIP!!! EB5 program!! Who killed EB5?

          • Arunkumar says:

            I think the regional centre’s are firing full horse powers now they are not worried about retrogression ect ect they just want to market the rise and get maximum investors before 21 nov this I feel is misusing innocent investors this is total mess now

        • tpk129 says:

          Thanks Suzanne!

          No surprises and I think the outcome was fair. Not going with the full $1.35 million for TEAs is a nod to the industry. I don’t think it will make that much of a difference and I still believe interest in the program will decline considerably.

          The Regional Centers will work the crowd hard and convince the gullible to sign up before the deadline. Most likely it will be a blood bath for investors as promoters/developers will take advantage of the situation. Immigration attorneys will see a spike in business in the short term and criminal defense attorneys will see a similar spike down the road.

  23. TWang says:

    Hi Suzanne, I’m born in China and if I file for EB5 now in Fall 2019, when would I be able to get the conditional greencard if HR1044 passes? Thank you!

    • If HR1044 passed, then the green card timing calculation for all new investors would be simple and the same: number of people in the backlog at the time of filing I-526, divided by 10,000. I guess the EB-5 backlog will be at least 85,000 people by Fall 2019, so at least 8.5 years. It looks as if the country cap proposal is unlikely to proceed further, however.

  24. Illegalimmigrant says:

    What would happen if S386 is approved tomorrow? I think there wouldn’t be much difference for these China-born investors.

  25. Luke says:

    Hi Suzanne. Is your assessment still that this hr1044/s386 is unlikely to pass into law after further negotiations?

  26. Linghua Gu says:

    75,000 petitions and more dependents, it may cause 20+ yrs to clear the curren backlogs of EB-5.

  27. Linghua Gu says:

    85,000 petitons, not include dependents. totally it may need 85,000*2.9=246,500 visas, so 25 yrs

  28. AZ says:

    Seriously it is this hard to get any common sense reform done… What a mess. It can’t be rocket science.

  29. Lucky says:

    Hi Suzanne, I am revisiting this article and have one question on the amendment of S 386: “….with no transition period for EB-5, and no savings provision for people with pending I-526 petitions….” what does no transition period for EB-5 mean? Is it delaying cleaning up China’s backlog or there’s no transition period for countries other than China?

  30. NV says:

    If any Indian who is already in US & petition approved in that case, will his visa number be deducted from the country cap of 700 visa or not because he is already in US having another visa?

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