Despite EB-5 Retrogression for Indian Nationals, EB-5 Regional Center Program Provides a Promising Pathway
March 21, 2023
By: Rahul Soni
The U.S. Department of State’s monthly Visa Bulletin controls and announces the availability of immigrant visas, applicable to intending immigrants of the United States based on country of birth. When the monthly visa bulletin is published, individuals who wish to file an adjustment of status application or process their permanent residency from overseas must first determine if there is an immigrant visa “available” to them at that time. For EB-5 investors, an investor must first file an underlying I-526 petition to be assigned a “Priority Date,” or place in line.
All terminology aside, the Visa Bulletin represents more than just a “number” of available immigrant visas. Practically, the Visa Bulletin carves out a timeline for EB-5 investors to attain permanent residency for themselves and their immediate families. Historically, the EB-5 program has provided quicker pathways for certain immigrants of backlogged countries. Specifically, Indian nationals who have often been subjected to over a decade of “wait time” in EB-2 and EB-3 categories have turned to EB-5 to pursue faster green cards.
When the EB-5 Regional Center Program was re-authorized by Congress in March 2022, there was once again hope for Indian nationals, among others, to pursue EB-5 green cards as indirect investors. Further, the re-authorization of the program provided something new: three “set-aside” designations to allow for expeditious processing and potentially reduced backlogs. The set aside categories afforded an allocation of 20% to initial investments in rural projects, 10% to high unemployment area projects and 2% to infrastructure projects.
The March 2023 Visa Bulletin shows a 16-month retrogression for Indian nationals in the EB-5 unreserved visa category (for general EB-5 Regional Center Program investments). However, there is still a promising pathway for Indian nationals. In fact, there is an encouraging pathway for everyone. The set aside categories remain current across the board.
Further, at Fragomen, our clients are working with regional centers that are developing projects that fall under the rural and high unemployment categories to allow better and quicker pathways for all EB-5 investors. Looking ahead to the immediate future, we predict that the set aside categories will remain current; as such, we encourage interested applicants to pursue investments in set aside-classified projects, so they can quickly lock their place in line in pursuit of quicker permanent residency solutions.
Need to know more?
For further information on the EB-5 Regional Center Program, please contact Partner Rahul Soni at [email protected].
This blog was published on March 21, 2023, and due to the circumstances, there are frequent changes. To keep up to date with all the latest updates on global immigration, please visit our dedicated COVID-19 site, subscribe to our alerts and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Explore more at Fragomen
Ana Bessa Santos outlines misconceptions surrounding Swiss immigration laws and provides guidance surrounding the correct nature of the rules.
Ziphozihle Ntlanganiso discusses the expected close of the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme.
Forbes reports on the allegation that Florida’s new law prevents Chinese citizens from purchasing real estate.
Uglobal Immigration Magazine recently published the Top 25 Global Migration Attorneys for 2022 and Fragomen is pleased to announce that Partners David Crawford and Nadine Goldfoot have been named to the list.
Spear's 500 ranks Partner Julia Onslow-Cole as one of the best immigration lawyers for high-net-worth individuals in their 2023 Legal Indices.
Partner Andrew Greenfield explains that employers must return to I-9 Form in-person verification.
Partner Marius Tollenaere testified before the Internal Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag during the hearing on the Skilled Immigration Act on Monday, 22nd of May.
Immigration Consultant Alessandra Rüede provides a recap of Swiss immigration quotas for the first quarter of 2023.
In April of 2023, the Presidents of Namibia and Botswana agreed to a reciprocal use of identity cards to enter the other country. This decision promotes compliant mobility, tourism, and trade in Southern Africa.
Reductions in office footprints across the U.S., as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, have a significant impact on foreign national employees. Part 2 of this series covers the impact of employer office closures on the Green Card process for employees.