EB-5 visas issued by country in 2020

All sections of the Department of State’s Report of the Visa Office 2020 are now available. In the past, I have analyzed reports of EB-5 visa issuance by country as an indicator of EB-5 visa demand. But for 2020, the numbers tell a story about visa processing constraints. The distribution of EB-5 visas issued in 2020 by country, type, and path does not reflect who wanted visas, but who was lucky to get visas despite massive COVID-19 restrictions and processing bottlenecks.

I think the headline in 2020 visa data is Adjustment of Status. The Report of the Visa Office reports total EB-5 visas issued (Table V) and EB-5 visas issued by consulates (Table VI). The difference shows the number of EB-5 visas issued to applicants using I-485 to adjust status in the U.S.. When consular processing nearly shut down back in March/April 2020 even as USCIS continued to operate, I had hoped that USCIS might pick up some slack, and process more EB-5 I-485 to help prevent loss of visa numbers. Now, looking at the data, I see that USCIS did complete a few more I-485 than usual for Chinese and Indians in 2020, but overall even fewer I-485 visas than in the previous three years.

I doubt that dropping I-485 visa numbers can be attributed to falling demand (Charles Oppenheim mentioned in the November 2020 IIUSA meeting that USCIS had approximately 2,500 I-485 pending for China-born applicants alone.) I am more inclined to blame conservative visa bulletin movement (for low China numbers) and glacial USCIS processing (for low numbers overall). EB-5 visa issuance has generally dipped over the past four years — and that not due to falling demand (backlogs are higher than ever) or reduced visa quotas (the visa limits were actually higher than average since FY2017). COVID-19 gets credit as the major constraint in 2020, but apparently it’s not the only depressing factor. (UPDATE: in today’s “Conversation with Charlie” on the Visa Bulletin, Charles Oppenheim confirmed that indeed, Department of State is not able to move the visa bulletin specifically to maximize adjustment of status during consular closures. Start listening at about minute 32 for discussion of China EB-5 visa movement. The webinar also mentioned that over 9,000 Chinese EB-5 applicants are already “ready to go” at the current final action date, and thus the date is unlikely to move “for the foreseeable future” — at least this fiscal year.)

Note also the multi-year trend in consular processing across all categories.

And now, for my usual table itemizing EB-5 visas issued to countries that received at least 20 visas during the year. But again, I would not make many conclusions from these numbers, which reflect more than anything the accident of which applicants happened to be lucky to get visa interviews in October 2019 to February 2020.

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

29 Responses to EB-5 visas issued by country in 2020

  1. OP says:

    Hi suzanne:

    According to the data, it said there’s 7,498 quotes of eb5 visa haven’t been issued in FY2020, I just wonder what happen to those 7,498 quotes;

    Also that’s kinda strange that over 8000 quotes haven’t been use but there’s over 17,000 cases are pending to process for what I grab data from USCIS website, the pace of processing is about 6-8 cases a day have been processed to approved in past two months… any sign that their processing pace will speed up in foreseeable future?

    • By law, unused EB-5 visas in one year roll over to the EB-1 category the next year. Keep in mind that the data in this post is from Department of State about visa issuance, not from USCIS about petition processing. I-526 productivity depends on almost completely different factors from volume of visa issuance. The number one reason for loss of EB-5 visa numbers in 2020 was the consular processing shutdown blamed on COVID-19.

  2. Rahs says:

    Thanks for sharing. Do we also have the data on how many eb5 based i-485 applications were submitted in the year? Would be interesting to corelate what percentage of the demand was met last year and how much that has changed over the years.

  3. Gulshan Kumar says:

    I saw this on Twitter, is this only to specific case or applies to all.

    Breaking: we have reached settlement in the #eb5 mandamus Gutta case. All plaintiffs will receive adjudications by June 28, most months earlier. Many of these 526s are late 2019 filers & who knows when the government would get around to their cases. High five ✋

    • This was just a specific case, not a class action.

      • Indian says:

        Friends my writ of mandamus is dismissed so there is a very small chance of getting success so I feel WOM is a waste of money

        • Thank you for sharing your experience! Can you tell us the Month/Year of your I-526 filing date, and when the WOM was filed/dismissed?

          • Indian says:

            The priority date is March 2019 and WOM filed April 2020 the judge made a decision against me in March 2021

        • Marigotus says:

          What was the reason why the judge dismissed your I526 WOM?

          • Indian says:

            they feel the delay caused is not actionable and uscis claims first come first serve will be disturbed its a waste of money to file WOM as 90 percent of the cases filed have the same result we are just giving money to attorneys

        • Sentap says:

          Which lawyer did you hire to do the WOM? The reason I ask is, could it be a lawyer’s inefficiency?

          • indian says:

            My law firm is one of the best in the USA I can’t share because I don’t want to mess up with their reputation
            i shared my thoughts for more details if we can visit us federal district courts .gov you can see the trends the trend is against the WOM

  4. KA says:

    Hi Suzan
    I have a question unrelated to this post. If somebody applies for EB-5 and also recently downgraded from Eb2 to EB3, is it true that they should not apply for AOS under EB3 category even if current as it might jeopardize your EB 5 application.
    Or can we go ahead and apply for AOS under EB3 if current and when EB-5 goes through can this be transitioned ?
    I understand this is more for an attorney but as wondering if you had any insight in such situation.

    • ka says:

      you shouldnt have two AOS. you either pick EB3/2 or EB5. you cant have one leg in India and another in Pakistan Analog

  5. VJ says:

    Hi Suzan
    any idea about i 485 processing time improvement /
    when we submitted it says 9.5 to 21 month but not uscis says employment base adjustment of status processing time between 43.5 to 63 moth ?

  6. Kathy says:

    Hi Suzanne,

    Thank you so much for your great content!

    I am so confused about the new bill that introduced a few days ago by Grassley, why there wasn’t just one line of that bill benefits for the investors and reliefs the backlog?? They didn’t even think of the investors that already put their money in. Unbelievable!

  7. Jaimin Deliwala says:

    My son’s I 526 with PD 29th October 2018 got approved on 1st April 2021.

  8. Indian_Investor_EB5 says:

    I am an Indian investor and my I-526 application with priority date of 11/19/2018 was approved on 03/26/21. I hope this helps others track the queue.

  9. mark says:

    Hi Suzanne, my I-526 from 12/12/2017 was approved 07/26/2020 waiting for aos, I lost the link to the spreadsheet you have.

  10. Muthukumar says:

    Hi! Suzanne,
    Thanks a lot for all your untiring efforts, this is the only platform for information dissemination on EB-5. My I-526 with PD – Nov 19 2018 was approved on Apr 5.I am an Indian investor based out in US.

  11. India EB5 Investor says:

    Adding one more – my I-526 PD Nov. 19th 2018 approved on 7th April. I am an Indian investor based out of the US. Best of luck to others – thanks !

    • indian says:

      Today My Friend who had a priority date of Dec 2018 Got His approval letter things are moving i think

  12. AWB says:

    I have a priority date of 6 Dec 2018. Keeping my fingers crossed… I am thankful to Suzzane for her efforts. I will update as soon as I get my approval. Hoping to do my bit to help those awaiting for approvals.. candidly, passing on the favor from Muthukumar and many many others.

  13. AWB says:

    Suzzane, you might want to create a dedicated post where people can just put updates on their dates (rather than in the comments section of the most recent piece from you). That way, you can track the data more conveniently.

    • JV says:

      This is a great idea. Btw, my I-526 with Oct 12, 2018 PD is still pending. Not sure how they are processing Nov & Dec PD before Oct. My country of birth is Taiwan.

  14. Ricardo says:

    I believe that after finishing judging cases with priority dates in December 2018, it will go very fast because we have few receipts for the first and second quarters of 2019, some 600 in the first quarter and another 600 in the second quarter of 2019. what do you think about it?

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