EB-5 immigration: The Countries With the Most EB-5 Investors

eb5 immigration

The EB-5 Investor Visa Program was established in 1991 to encourage foreign nationals to invest in the United States, and by doing so, stimulate the economy and create jobs for US citizens and lawful permanent residents. In exchange for this investment, the foreign investor will become eligible to receive U.S. green cards for themselves, their spouses, and children under the age of 21.

Qualified foreign nationals from any country can apply for the EB-5 Investor Visa. There are no restrictions based on nationality, although there is a yearly cap on the number of EB-5 visas issued to each country each year. The United States allocates 10,000 visas for EB-5 investors and their family members each year. Each country is limited to seven percent of the total numbers of EB-5 visas available, plus access to the unused visa quotas from other countries.

EB-5 immigration From Mainland China

The demand for EB-5 visas for investors from mainland China is greater than the yearly number of visas allocated to the country for EB-5 immigration. This means that it now takes significantly longer for an applicant from mainland China to receive an EB-5 visa than for a foreign national from another country.

Despite this, China has had the largest participation in the EB-5 visa program over the last five years. Approximately, 85% of all EB-5 visas granted over the past five years went to investors from mainland China.

EB-5 Immigration From Asia

Overall, foreign nationals from Asia have benefitted the most from EB-5 immigration. Between 2012 and 2014, Asian countries represented four of the top five countries with the highest number of investors receiving EB-5 visas. Currently, all top five are Asian countries.

The following nations routinely occupy the top spots when it comes to EB-5 immigration:

1.Mainland China;
2.Vietnam
3.South Korea; and
4.Taiwan

Foreign nationals from Hong Kong, India, and Vietnam have also been flocking to the EB-5 visa program. These three nations have experienced noticeable increases in the number EB-5 visas granted to their citizens over the last two years. Among non-Asian countries, a comparable trend has also been observed for EB-5 applicants from Brazil and Egypt.

EB-5 immigration From Iran

Iran, which between 2012 and 2014 ranked in the top five, has seen a steady decline in the number of EB-5 visas granted to their citizens over the past two years. In 2016, Iranians received only 28 EB-5 visas, compared to the 82 visas it received at its peak in 2013. A comparable trend can be seen with Japan, which received 70 EB-5 visas at its peak in 2013, but only received 25 last year.

EB-5 immigration From Non-Asian Countries

When it comes to non-Asian nations, Great Britain and Ireland share rank #7 for receiving the most EB-5 visas in 2016. Each nation had 25 EB-5 visas granted, twice as many as they received in 2014. Russia, Brazil, and Egypt are not far behind.

Contact an Experienced EB-5 Immigration Lawyer

Until a couple of years ago, the 10,000 visas allocated to the EB-5 program were enough to meet demand. But with the recent continued increase in demand from China, 10,000 visas are no longer sufficient. This means that the total wait time for applicants from China to be issued an EB-5 visa is currently approximately 4 years and getting longer.

For this reason, it is extremely important to obtain expert advice and to plan ahead. If you are looking to immigrate to the United States through the EB-5 program, consult with one of our experienced EB-5 Immigration lawyers at David Hirson & Partners, LLP. We particularly urge mainland Chinese-born EB-5 investors to obtain expert advice so your EB-5 application can be filed as soon as possible, securing your position in the EB-5 quota line.

Telephone: (949) 383-5358       Email: info@hirson.com       Website: www.hirson.com

美国公民及移民服务局(USCIS)发布的修订版《政策手册》

EB-5 investment

2017年6月14日,美国公民及移民服务局(USCIS)发布了修订版的《政策手册》,其中对EB-5投资者章节进行了更(https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume6-PartG.html)。更新重点在于澄清EB-5投资”维持”的定义。这对中国大陆的投资者来说意义尤为重大,因为由于签证积压,他们的EB-5申请流程耗时相当长。

以下是更新的简要总结和评论。

1.”维持期”的定义

EB-5投资人的资金除了要在投入一个使用该资金的实体中,并能为每个投资人创造10个工作岗位之外,还必须持续两年时间,这段时间为有条件永久居留期。换句话说,投资资金必须在EB-5投资人拥有有条件永久居留权之日起两年后(投资人I-829申请开始之日)的这段时间保持投资状态。USCIS对”维持期”所做出的解释看起来好像是允许对投资人资金的返还在2年有条件居留期一到就可以立刻开始,只要创造就业的要求能够得到满足。

2.重新投资

如果项目已经按计划完成,并成功满足EB-5的工作创造要求,但投资人仍然需要满足维持投资要求的话(见前文第1点详解),那么项目方或工作岗位创造企业(JCE)可以将资金返还给新商业企业(NCE)并由其重新投入其他在NCE业务范围内的有风险企业之中。此时,I-526申请可能仍然在裁决阶段,投资人也可能还需要继续等待直到有新的EB-5签证可用,和/或有条件居留还未开始或已经结束了。

然而,USCIS并没有详细提及在实际的EB-5项目中如何完成重新注资这一步,导致这部分意义十分不明确。我们只能看USCIS具体将如何裁决原始招股文件中不存在重新注资情况的项目、有重新注资计划的包含公开交易股票共同基金的项目,或者重新注资计划需要多么详细(以避免发生重大变化)。

3.区域中心关停对EB-5申请的影响

如果在有条件永久居留身份期间区域中心关停,就很可能是一个重大变化。在此之后,投资人仍然可以继续提交I-829申请。

对I-526申请者来说:如果区域中心在投资人有条件居留身份开始之前关停,那么I-526申请就会由于区域中心发生重大变化而被拒绝或驳回。这会对那些I-526获得批准但仍然在等待EB-5签证的投资人产生影响。
对I-829投资者来说:如果区域中心在投资人有条件永久居民身份开始之后关停,投资人可以继续EB-5申请流程,并根据由项目创造的工作数量进行I-829申请步骤。

了解USCIS政策手册中的最新调整十分重要,并且这些更新从长期来看对EB-5计划也可能是十分有利的。但就目前来说,我们必须希望能USCIS对最近的案件的裁决中得到更加明晰的指导。

如果想要获得更多信息或对您的具体情况进行咨询,请与我们经验丰富的EB-5团队取得联系。

联系电话: (949) 383-5358      电子邮件: info@hirson.com       网站: www.hirson.com

Update to USCIS Policy Manual – At-Risk Sustainment and Redeployment

EB-5 investment

On June 14, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) released a revised version of its Policy Manual with edits made to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor section (https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume6-PartG.html). The focus is on clarifying the definition of “sustainment” of EB-5 investment. This is of particular importance to Mainland Chinese EB-5 investors who face a very extended time period for the complete EB-5 process due to the visa backlog

The following is a brief summary and commentary on the changes:

1.Definition of “Period of Sustainment”

While EB-5 investors must sustain their investment in an entity that uses the funds to create at least 10 full-time jobs per investor, the investment must also be maintained for the 2 years of conditional permanent residency. In other words, the investment must be sustained exactly from the date that an EB-5 investor begins conditional permanent residency to 2 years later (the date that the investor’s Form I-829 petition is due). The clarification made by USCIS regarding the “period of sustainment” appears to allow repayment to investors can be made as soon as the 2-year conditional period of residency is over, so long as the job creation requirements have also been met.

2.Redeployment

In the event that a project has completed its plans to fulfill EB-5 job creation requirements but investors still need to fulfill the period of sustained investment (as explained in point 1 above), a project/Job Creating Entity (JCE) may return the EB-5 funds to the New Commercial Enterprise (NCE) to be redeployed into another at-risk venture that falls within the scope of the NCE’s business. I-526 petitions may still be pending adjudication at this point, investors may still be waiting for an EB-5 visa number to become available, and/or conditional residency may not yet have started or finished.

Unfortunately, USCIS has left a lot of ambiguity as to how redeployment is to be accomplished in actual EB-5 practice. We will have to see how USCIS adjudicates projects that didn’t include plans for redeployment in the original offering documents, or have redeployment plans which include mutual funds of publicly traded stocks, or how much detail needs to be included in redeployment plans (to avoid material change).

3.Effect of Regional Center Terminations on EB-5 Petitions

If RC termination happens before conditional permanent residency, it likely will be a material change. If afterwards, the investor may still be able to file an I-829 petition.

For I-526 petitioners: If a regional center is terminated prior to the start of an investor’s conditional residence, the I-526 petition will be denied or revoked based upon material change of the regional center. This affects those investors who received I-526 approval but were still waiting for their EB-5 visa.
For I-829 petitioners: If a regional center is terminated after the start of an investor’s conditional residence, the investor may continue their EB-5 process and file an I-829 petition based upon jobs created by the project.

These latest updates to the USCIS Policy Manual are important to understand and will most likely help to improve the EB-5 Program in the long-run. At present though, we must hope for more clarity to come through USCIS’ adjudications of cases in the near future.

For more information or answers to your specific circumstances, please contact our experienced EB-5 team.

Telephone: (949) 383-5358    Email: info@hirson.com       Website: www.hirson.com