Essential Numbers and News | US Immigration and the EB-5 Visa
America is a country built on immigration.
From its beginnings almost 250 years ago to its current status as world superpower, USA has benefited from attracting the industriousness, creativity, ingenuity and brilliance of over 100 million immigrants from all over the globe.
For many international investors, America not only is the go-to location for investing their capital, but also the destination location for emigration.
In today’s article we share vital US immigration statistics as well as numbers and news related to the EB-5 Investor Visa. EB5 Visa wait times for selected countries, and what immigrant investors could expect moving forward in the next 4 years under the new Biden administration.
Today’s Talking Points
2019 US Immigration Numbers
EB5 Visa Quotas
News for 2021
EB5 Wait Times moving ahead
Immigration under Biden
US Immigration Numbers
For the last 10 years, US legal immigration has been hovering around the 1 million mark. In 2019, the total legal immigrant number was 1,031,765.
505,765 Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens
204,139 Family-sponsored preferences
139,458 Employment-based preferences (including E2 and EB5 Visas)
18,442 Victims of crimes and their spouses and children
4,033 Cancellation of removal
675,000 Is the total annual “flexible cap” amount for legal immigrants.
This number does not include immediate relatives of US Citizens and special categories such as refugees and asylees.
Immigration Caps and Quotas
Family-sponsored annual limit: minimum 226,000, up to 480,000.
Employment-based annual limit: minimum 140,000 -up to 261,500 in 2021 ****
*** This number has increased drastically for 2021 as reported by wolfsdorf.com. Keep on reading below to see how this will increase EB-5 quota for 2021 and help reduce backlog ***
EB5 Visa: 10,000
Refugees & Asylees: No limitation
Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens: No limit.
EB5 Visa Quotas
10,000 yearly visas.
3,000 visas set aside for regional centers.
Each country can get up to 7.1% of the 10,000 total. If a country quota remains unfilled, the under amount can be used as overflow for countries with large amount of applicants (ie China).
2021 EB-5 News
The Immigration and Nationality Act provides that if the full quota of family-based visas is not used in any fiscal year, then the unused numbers are added to next year’s employment-based immigration quota.
So, in addition to the normally allocated 10,000 visas, the EB-5 category will get at least 8,566 extra visas for a total of around 18,566 visas for 2021.
Wait times for the EB-5 Visa
Because of the 7% of total (10,000 EB-5 Visas) per country quota cap, countries with many applicants have to wait in some cases more than 10 years to receive their US Green Card. This is the case for China, India and Vietnam.
Immigrant-investors from countries with few applicants see their petition approved in as little as 12 months, with 24 months being a cross-country average as of 2019.
The good new for EB5 applicants is that in 2021 and beyond we could see changes to wait times throughout all countries.
“with the EB-5 program likely to see reforms in the coming months, now is the time to begin your investment.
Two pieces of proposed legislation we have previously discussed on this site, President Biden’s immigration reform act, The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 and the Grassley/Leahy EB-5 reform bill, The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act, would help solve some of these issues. Both bills include provisions that could ensure excessive processing times for I-526 approval become a thing of the past.”
TheNew Immigration Act is a ambitious and sweeping proposal that aims to provide legal resident status for many undocumented Americans, as well as streamline the immigration process for those seeking to move to America.
“The proposed legislation, dubbed the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, outlines a two-tier pathway to citizenship for immigrants already in the country. Farmworkers, those with temporary protected status and immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children would immediately be eligible for green cards and would then be able to apply for citizenship in three years. Immigrants in the country illegally would be eligible for work permits and would be placed on an eight-year path to citizenship.”
On top of sweeping changes for immigrants already in the US, the Citizenship Act proposes to reform visa quotas by not including spouses and minor children against a country’s share of allotted visa.
Additionally, the number of diversity visas issued for countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. will increase from 55,000 to 80,000.
In regards to the Employment-based Visas:
The Act proposes an Increase from 140,000 to 170,000 yearly limit.
And, as of October 21st, there would be no 7% of total cap for each country. Chinese EB5 Visa applicants facing a massive backlog due to the sheer number of applications from that country would see the wait time drastically decrease as the yearly quota cap is lifted.
The new proposed immigration legislation requires minimum 10 votes from the Republicans in Senate – on top of the Democrats – in order to pass as a bipartisan bill. Many feel that it won’t under its current iteration, leading many to believe piecemeal proposals may be more successful.
“While the White House is publicly putting its weight behind the broad reform bill, Biden himself has signaled willingness to move forward with a more piecemeal approach. During a CNN town hall on Tuesday, Biden said he is open to backing more targeted bills “in the meantime,” while pushing for a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.”
In the next couple of months we should see what parts of the Act get passed and we will issue updates as we learn more.
America continues to remain a global immigration hotspot, offering individuals and families unparalleled opportunity to increase their wealth and standard of living.
Immigrant investors looking to tap into unique American investment opportunities and way of life can apply for their US Green Card via the EB5 Visa program. Not only is American residency available for qualified investors and their families via the USCIS EB5 Program, there is also a way to maintain ties and roots with your home country.