December 2021 Visa Bulletin (airport analogy)

The December 2021 Visa Bulletin has a “Current” Final Action Date and Filing Date for China in the 5th Non-Regional Center preference category (C5 and T5).  This means that in the month of December, direct EB-5 Chinese applicants who are documentarily qualified at the visa stage can proceed to get visas, regardless of priority date. Even more exciting, Chinese direct investors with I-526 approval can file visa applications (and probably I-485, though USCIS hasn’t updated its AOS page yet).

According to the visa bulletin methodology, the current final action date means that the number of Chinese direct EB-5 applicants who are documentarily qualified at the visa stage must be quite small – well under the total EB-5 visas currently available for China. That is no surprise, considering that direct EB-5 has historically accounted for less than 10% of EB-5 demand from Chinese, and that USCIS’s slow-walking of Chinese I-526 processing under the visa availability approach has prevented many applicants from reaching the visa stage. Shame on USCIS, for contributing to visa loss by not processing petitions! (The Visa Bulletin adds a warning note just in case the number of direct EB-5 Chinese applicants proves larger than Department of State expects: “if China-mainland born number use were to materialize at a level which could potentially jeopardize visa availability under the overall FY-2022 Employment-based Fifth preference annual limit it would then be necessary to once again impose a final action date.”)

The Visa Bulletin Section D clarifies how the situation will change if the regional center program is reauthorized soon. “If there is legislative action extending this category for December, the final action dates would immediately become “Current” for December for all countries except China-mainland born I5 and R5, which would be subject to a November 22, 2015 final action date.”

This is the first time that the Visa Bulletin has allowed direct EB-5 priority dates to move ahead of regional center dates at the visa stage. Presumably Department of State made the move for December 2021 to minimize visas simply going to waste during the on-going regional center program expiration, as I discussed in a previous post. At most a few thousand visas issued out-of-order to China-born direct EB-5 investors is a couple thousand fewer visas to go unused in FY2021. Chinese regional center investors are losing visa availability by the day during RC program expiration regardless, so I don’t see the announcement as much additional harm for them. Visas that don’t go to direct EB-5 applicants would likely otherwise just be lost to EB-1 this year or family next year. The visa bulletin change is good news for those few Chinese direct investors who are in a position to protect children by filing visa applications, or far enough along with paperwork to jump at the chance for final action.

When interpreting the Visa Bulletin, be sure to remember that EB-5 is a multi-step process. Visa Bulletin announcements reflect and pertain to Step 2 (visa application stage), not Step 1 (I-526 processing stage).  A “current” final action date in December 2021 reflects low demand and high supply at the visa stage as of December 2021, and applies to people who have visa/I-485 processing nearly complete as of December 2021. It does not necessarily mean anything for people earlier in the process.

Consider that the Visa Bulletin was “Current” for China in April 2015, but a Chinese who filed I-526 in April 2015 was not “current” by the time he reached the visa stage, and indeed didn’t get a chance for a visa until March 2020. The Chinese investor who started the process in early 2015 waited five years for visa availability as a natural function of demand leading up to 2015 and supply since 2015 (and naturally regardless of supply/demand conditions that determined wait times for people finishing the process in 2015, and the visa bulletin in 2015).

Think about the analogous situation of gate announcements in the airport, and what such announcements mean for people who are not yet checked in and through airport security.

Here’s an airport with crowds at the gate and at check-in. Flights are overbooked and check-in is understaffed, but suddenly there’s a special gate announcement: all green shirts in the boarding area can get the seats on the flight. What should be the thought process of that green-shirted guy in the outside right corner, as he thinks about whether or not to bother going to the airport?

On the one hand, there’s a special deal right now at Gate 3, and green-shirted people in the boarding area are being given seats on the plane with no wait. This guy has a green shirt. On the other hand, the guy isn’t in the boarding area and can’t just go straight there – he has to check in and get through security first. His future experience at Gate 3 will not be determined by gate announcements at the time he walks in the airport door, but by gate announcements when he’s finally at the gate. He has to think about how long it will take to get ticketed and checked in and through security, and what conditions are likely to be at Gate 3 by the time he gets there. There aren’t so many green-shirts ahead of him, but large crowds generally, a question of how long the green-shirt-priority boarding will last, and apparently just one employee working on check-in. The guy will be wise to consider factors such as these, in addition to the current gate announcement, when calculating his potential wait to get a seat on the plane. Such factors are particularly important in the EB-5 context, with multi-year processing times and crowds in the thousands and tens of thousands.

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.

56 Responses to December 2021 Visa Bulletin (airport analogy)

  1. saurabh khanna says:

    Hello Suzanna , thank you for your post. I always appreciate the blog you write. I applied for EB5 RC on June 28,2021 (right before it sunset with 500k) any idea if it did got reauthorized, will I be grandfathered in or I have pay the new amount. I know it’s hard to say but you think will it be reauthorized soon.. thanks

  2. RC says:

    Does this mean that regional centre program won’t be reauthorised anytime soon?

    • The Visa Bulletin comes from Department of State, which can’t know much more than we do about the politics and when and if re-authorization legislation has a chance in Congress. DOS just has to try to issue visas, and to use the visa bulletin to balance supply and demand as of “right now.” Apparently right now at the visa stage, there just isn’t enough demand for EB-5 visas without moving the China final action date for direct EB-5.

  3. EB5 Investor says:

    Hi Suzanne great work as always. I just wanted to know if you know if USCIS is actually processing i485 for direct EB5s ? You said there are less than 400 or so direct applicants waiting for adjustment of status in your last post since June 30th. That would be little over 133 actual eb5 applicants (assuming each applicant had 2 other dependents). USCIS should have at the very least cleared this out by now but I have only heard of one person who had direct actually get a i485 approved after filing WOM. Makes me think they are just sitting on all applicants regardless of category.

    • I don’t have evidence of recent direct I-485 adjudications, but anecdotal evidence is harder to get for a small population. In the one area where I have good processing visibility — I-526 — USCIS has nearly stopped work, with barely a handful of actions per week and no work on petitions more recent than November 2019. It looks suspicious, and intentional. But I-485 adjudications are more scattered, so hopefully less open to a conspiracy of just sitting. USCIS reportedly recently picked up the pace for I-485 adjudications overall (Charles Oppenheim cited this as a factor in visa bulletin movement in other categories in November 2015).

      • C says:

        Suzanne,
        Any hint on how USCIS is doing, during lapse, as far as I-829 processing is concerned?

        • No official data published yet on I-829 processing since the lapse, but what I can see doesn’t look good. The one clear improvement is to biometrics scheduling. If you’d like more detail, email me.

          • Tak says:

            I filed I-829 on 8 October 2021. Received the receipt extending residency 2 years dated 11 October. Any expectations of when I will receive the biometric notice/appointment?

      • Mohamed Thameem Shahul Hameed says:

        Hi Suzanne, amazing work. it looks like USCIS is not interested in EB5. Yes Regional Centers are yet to be reauthorised, but it should not stop them working so slow on Direct EB5.

  4. Tyler M says:

    Clear and cogent analysis and writing. My takeaway is that it is always smart to wear a green shirt when flying. But as the Chinese say, stay away from green hats…

  5. Jitendra Somani says:

    Has anybody experienced I131 and I765 approval timelines for I485 AOS applications from California Centre. The USCIS website indicates almost 20-24 months for I765 and I131 approvals which seem very long.

  6. Veedster says:

    Very good analogy indeed!

    I am not bothered by the Direct EB-5 crowd, which is scanty. It is just noise.

    • emran says:

      Hello Everyone,
      Today I got my I-526 Approval.
      I’m direct investor currently living in usa. country of birth bangladesh. PD 4th Oct 2019.
      I wish good luck too all investor.

      Thank You

      • Congratulations, and thank you for sharing your experience! We would also love to hear about your timeline for EAD and I-485, so please update when you have news. Best wishes for the next stage.

        • emran says:

          Thank you Suzanne and I’ll update here my next journey, anyway, do you know how long it might take to receive GC after submitting I-485?

          Thank you

      • Mohamed Thameem Shahul Hameed says:

        Congrats.

      • mar says:

        Congratuations. Please know that we are here to support you and please realize that this is the only community who has your back and understands and issues the might present. Please dónate to American Investor Alliance. They are INVESTORS (immigrants) and the only Organization in this ecosystem who is willing to put inventor human llfes at first and as most important. I hope you join them and and a podcast or something. Let’s help each other through ALLIANCE

  7. Mahendra Tated says:

    Hello Suzanna , thank you for your post. I always appreciate the blog you write. I applied for EB5 RC got Approved in Jul 2018 had Visa Interview in Feb 2019, case went under 221G again got email to schedule appointments in Feb 2020 Got the interview date on April 2020 which all these appointments were cancelled due to COVID. My question is 1. My daughter brn in 1997 will qulaity for Age Protection? 2. When are we seeing for Re Authorization of RC program?

    • mar says:

      You should immediately join and dónate to the American Immigrant Investor Alliance. Truth is: Noone will help you and see things like you see like other humans who are in the same exactamente boat as you. The same concerns, worries, hopes etc

  8. Daniel says:

    Hello Suzanna , thank you for your post. I appreciate the messages you shared with us. I am a Chinese direct EB-5 investor. My priority date is May 2018 (which means I-526 is still waiting for approval). Is there any way I can accelerate I-526 approval? Thanks much!

  9. Serg says:

    Why don’t we play a little guess game, my fellow EB5-ers?

    1) Who does think that program will be reauthorized on December 3rd reply “++”.
    2) If your guess is that the program will be reauthorized on December 17th reply “+”.
    3) If your bet is that the program won’t be reauthorized this year write “-“.

    Later we’ll count some results. Thanks to all of you in advance!

  10. VK says:


    It has been pretty disappointing so far… haven’t seen anything that would act as a tipping point to get it back on track by Dec.

  11. Veedster says:

    I think the passing of this $1.5 trillion bill will have a positive effect come 3rd or 17th to get the rest done.

    Waiting for Lazarus.

  12. Peter says:

    New video. Positiv news. But interesting… before it was not possible to attach it to a CR, now yes…
    Its all a game. And still he doesnt want to name it – HR2901.

    Anyway… lets be positiv. And listen: no direct investments, its not good for the business for a RC 😉

    • Veedster says:

      Thank you, Peter.

      • VK says:

        https://goaiia.org/blog/f/newsletter-6—contingency-plan

        Looks like someone else shares my pessimistic view…. :((

        • veedster says:

          Is there a “name” or a number for this “Bill”?

          Why cannot we see this mysterious “B..B..B..B.BIll”?

          Are they worried, that we would read it?

          • Peter says:

            It needs more donations (money/investments) to reveal it 😉 Jeff, AIIA, any blog… nobody is working for free 😬

          • I was angry before that the industry didn’t get their bill introduced, to put light on its contents and involve the actual industry beyond a few donors. But I understand why the reauthorization legislation remains under wraps at this point in the process. The text today is naturally and necessarily fluid based on what Congressional decision-makers require as condition to passing the bill. I’m thankful at this point for that flexibility to change and protection for Congressional discretion. We saw what happened to Senator Leahy’s bill in June. I don’t want to see that kind of myopic industry block happen again.
            You may notice that this blog does work for free, unless/until readers feel sorry to take so much free work from me and use my donation link.

          • Peter says:

            S831 / HR2901 are identical. Isnt it? Why we need to focus on a person? Is he the bad guy now?

            Before all lobbies were very active to spread news (hope). Its more than unserious for the entire industry not to name the current bill. Until today only HR2901 has moved forward. So what are the great results of the industry? Its only blablabla to keep in touch with potential chinese investors and trying not to lose all credibility.

            So, what they are hiding?

  13. STL Education Technology says:

    Read through the news everywhere during this difficult time. Behring Regional center has done several REAL, proven excellent tasks protecting EB-5 investors.

    https://behringeb5.com/behrings-efforts-on-eb-5-reauthorization-are-at-work/

  14. Peter says:

  15. Ricardo RJ says:

    Sorry Peter…but what this means ?

    • Peter says:

      https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/FesZSTXrFyxeipwNO7MqiQ

      Maybe the eb5 industry is fooling us again… only spreading hope to stupid believers. Right now I am starting to believe nothing will be reauthorized according to the latest rumours. This complete journey with eb5 is a joke – there is not even one serious person out there and can say something clear. Even if its: “i dont know”. Hope, Hope Hope… is the only thing I am listening – nothing else to keep in contact with potential investors.

      Lets have “hope” that its not over forever.

      @any new investor: dont invest into eb5 – even when its reauthorized – it remains a pilot program forever – the game is forever the same. Its unserious.

      • veedster says:

        English translation

        In the last week before 12.3, AIIA’s grassroots petitions
        Original EB5Sir U.S. EB5 makes it easy 2021-11-29 23:35
        Welcome to subscribe to “US EB5 One Click”, neutral in-depth and timely, let EB5Sir share with you the first-hand information of EB-5 US investment immigration in Chinese. If you need to reprint, please leave a message in the background.

        Preview of the live broadcast of the transfer road:

        How to avoid taxes and provincial taxes when investing in U.S. real estate

        Discuss in detail the national awards/professional association memberships/media reports in the ten articles of EB1A

        In the past two weeks, both urban and rural groups have given relatively optimistic news.

        They pointed out that even if the official budget-Omnibus cannot be introduced in December, EB-5 is expected to be able to take the CR-Interim Budget or Cromnibus.

        The last two videos of City sent Jeff emphasized that Leahy is the key to EB-5 ride-hailing because he is the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. Without his approval, EB-5 would not have a chance to ride-hailing CR: EB-5 postponed Critical condition.

        However, what EB5Sir heard last week was that Leahy hadn’t given any comment on the so-called “industry consensus” draft, and the ball stopped when he kicked it.

        Today, I saw a tweet reposted by investors from a source in the Senate who had not heard of it before:

        Image

        The news disclosed in this tweet is more serious than what EB5Sir heard.

        background:

        In Jeff’s last video ( a key condition for the EB-5 extension ), he mentioned that Betsy Lawrence, an aide to Jerry Nadler, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, was leading the negotiation of the EB-5 draft.

        The source disclosed on the 24th: Grassley and Leahy’s aides have dismissed the “industry extension consensus” proposed by Jerry Nadler’s aides. It seems that when the CR car is about to drive away, the EB-5 has not yet bought the ticket.

        EB5Sir doesn’t know the details of this “The Ohio Clock”, and doesn’t know why he pays attention to the development of EB-5, but personally think his information may be more accurate.

        Look at his description on Twitter and compare himself to a person who overhears secrets in the Senate. If you are interested, you can inquire more:

        Image

        Technically speaking, according to the tradition of the annual budget legislative process, CR is usually not a good time to take a ride, because CR itself is an interim budget. The purpose is to prevent the federal government from shutting down and temporarily extending the budget for a period of time, in order to give Congress more More time to pass the official budget-Omnibus.

        If Leahy, the Democratic Party’s most important budget gatekeeper in the Senate, cannot support the extension of EB-5 through CR, then EB-5 may not have the possibility of CR.

        According to media reports, there are several possibilities after 12.3:

        1. CR-Interim Budget, which will be temporarily postponed to 12.17, and the official budget will be passed before 12.17-Omnibus;
        2. CR-Interim Budget, which will be postponed to February and March next year, which will give the two parties a lot of time to pass the official budget;
        3. CR-Interim Budget, which has been an interim budget for the whole year, and has been postponed to 9.30 next year;

        Ranking of various possibilities, #2> #1> #3.

        If once the official budget cannot be released in December-Omnibus, regardless of the December postponed by IIUSA or EB-5IC, it can only be wishful thinking without Leahy’s support.

        Recently, AIIA, an investor organization initiated by Indians, has done a lot of work to promote the inclusion of the “grandfather clause” into the EB-5 bill. It has been accepted by all parties in the industry and has been very effective.

        They are planning to go to Congress-Washington DC to visit congressmen on December 9-10. They would like to invite EB-5 investors in the United States to join their team. They will introduce the importance of deferral to congressmen and the conditions for joining:

        1. Either the main applicant or the subsidiary applicant can;
        2. Any status can be in the United States;
        3. If your investment project is in the following areas:

        Texas (especially Houston)

        Iowa, Iowa

        South Dakota

        South Carolina

        Illinois

        Vermont

        California (especially Silicon Valley)

        Arizona (Phoenix)

        Upstate NY (Syracuse) Upstate NY (Syracuse)

        Ohio (North of Cleveland) Ohio (North of Cleveland)

        Georgia (South of Atlanta)

        If you sign up, you can contact them directly by email: info@goaiia.org, or leave a message on WeChat to leave contact information.

        Investors in the United States, especially in the vicinity of DC, are welcome to join their grassroots operations and tell the congressmen your stories, studies, work, and life delayed by EB-5. Please promote the EB-5 extension as soon as possible.

        EB-5 project call-up post: EB-5 project to find people|November 28

        There is a reward button at the end of the article. All rewards received will be forwarded to AAED for congressional lobbying work. Please actively support and do what you can. Thank you!

  16. STL Education Technology says:

    Reauthorization may be delayed again and again. Grandfathering should not be dependent on reauthorization. Investors before the expiration must be protected. I do not agree with AIIA that they only push for grandfathering if reauthorization goes to dead end. That approach is not acceptable. There will never be a dead end. It will continue to be “pending” or “negotiating” etc…We need to contact AIIA and push them to do their real work. Grandfathering is a must pass law. Anybody who does not support it is not a human.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.