EB-5 Wait-Times for Vietnamese, Indians Now 6+ Years as Retrogression No Longer Limited to China


Chinese applicants are no longer the only group suffering under the EB-5 program’s intractable retrogression nightmare; Indian and Vietnamese investors applying today can expect to wait 5.7 and 7.2 years, respectively, to get their EB-5 visas approved, shows an analysis by Mr. Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Department of State’s Immigrant Visa Control & Reporting Division.

EB-5 Insights reports that, during a recent EB-5 industry forum, Oppenheim shared the following wait-time estimates for applicants that filed their i-526 forms – the initial petition to obtain a conditional visa – by the end of October:

China Mainland: 14 years
Vietnam: 7.2 years
India: 5.7 years
South Korea: 2.2 years*
Taiwan: 1.7 years*
Brazil: 1.5 years*

*As the current USCIS processing time for an I-526 is roughly two (2) years, there is no effective wait time between I-526 approval and visa availability.

Read also: 450 Chinese EB-5 Investors Sue US Govt. Over 15 Year Wait Times

Furthermore, for the first time in history, Chinese investors no longer make up an absolute majority of EB-5 visa recipients; in fiscal year 2018, the USCIS allocated 48% of such visas to mainland Chinese.

Vietnam reached its retrogression threshold – 7.1% of the 10,000 visas available per year – in early 2018, and has already seen its wait-times shoot up as a result. Interest from Indians, the fastest growing applicant group, has shot up from 1.7% of all applications in FY2017 to 6.1% in FY2018, indicating they are virtually certain to enter retrogression territory within months.

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