December 2021 Visa Bulletin “Current” for All Direct EB-5 Visa Applicants
By AILA’s EB-5 Committee
The December 2021 Visa Bulletin was released on November 15. It states that China-mainland born EB-5 direct visa categories have become “current” for December. This is newsworthy because it is the first time all direct EB-5 applicants worldwide are “current” since the EB-5 visa categories became oversubscribed in 2015. It also appears to be the first time that Direct EB-5 applicants and Regional Center EB-5 applicants from the same country have different cut-off dates.
The Visa Bulletin was written this way because there has been no reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center program although many are hoping to see movement by Congress in reauthorizing the Regional Center program in the near future. The Visa Bulletin notes in section F:
“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.”
If (and when) the Regional Center program is reauthorized, there would be more demand for EB-5 visas, and it’s likely the China-mainland EB-5 category would be impacted. The demand “materializing” would be the documentarily completed I5 and R5 visa demand (Regional Center) which is already within the 22NOV15 date. Eligible direct EB-5 investors (the C5 and T5 visa applicants who already submitted the required documentation, or those who will now be notified by NVC to assemble/submit the required documents based on the Application Filing Date also becoming Current) should take timely action on the next step in their immigration process. There is no telling how long this window will be open or whether DOS will provide an advance warning.
Moreover, it is not technically correct to say that there is “no waiting line” for China-mainland direct EB-5, as we do not know what future Visa Bulletins will indicate when a direct I-526 case filed today is eventually approved.