More countries (including India) soon to face EB-5 visa retrogression
by Mona Shah, Esq. and Rebecca S. Singh, Esq.
23 April 2018, at the IIUSA Annual Conference in Washington DC, Charlie Oppenheim, chief of the Visa Controls Office at the US Department of State delivered the breaking news that more countries would face final action dates, leading to visa retrogression. These countries include: India, Brazil, Taiwan, South Korea – all popular countries for the EB-5 visa.
What is a Final Action Date?
A final action date (FAD) marks the end of a “current visa” status for a country, indicating a backlog. It does not affect the project. Most countries do not have a FAD as it is current. Countries with a FAD means that an investor is only eligible for the green card (adjustment of status or consular processing) if the priority date is available.
Due to the dramatic increase in demand for EB-5 visas, the State Department will impose a FAD for India no later than June 2019 – it could well be earlier. Once a FAD has been imposed, Indian nationals will likely wait five years for a visa.
Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan will also have a FAD at some point in the summer of 2019.
For China and Vietnam:
In June or July of 2018, the FAD for these two countries will move to 1 August 2014 and hold until September 2018. As of September 2018, the date could potentially move forward to 8 August 2014, and by October 2018, China will move to 15 August 2014 or 8 August 2014 if the date does not move forward for September 2018.
Vietnam will not be current for the fiscal year 2019. The new FAD will be 1 January 2016 for the October 2018 filings.
From November 2018 through March 2019, the dates will move forward one month and hold for a month. By May 2019, Vietnam will be subject to China’s FAD.
September 2019, the FAD for China, Vietnam, India, Brazil, South Korea, and Taiwan will be 15 October 2014.
Unused visas are provided according to priority dates – the country does not matter. However, the unused visas will most likely go to Chinese investors as their priority dates will likely be earlier than those from other countries.
Percentage of principal applicants per country (without dependents)
China – 34.9
Brazil – 30.4 %
India – 27.6 %
S. Korea – 35.6%
Taiwan – 34.4%
Vietnam – 36%
India has seen sharp increases in dependents over other countries, due to marriages or having children during the application process. For the third preference category, dependents increased from 1.4 to 2.5.