EB-5 Visas Unavailable for Chinese Nationals for Remainder of FY2014


The U.S. Department of State Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division recently announced that the EB-5 visa preference category has become unavailable for Chinese nationals for the remainder of FY2014 which ends on September 30, 2014.  As of October 1, 2014, the EB-5 visa preference category will again be available to Chinese nationals.  This action by the U.S. Department of State should not be mistaken to mean that the annual limit of 10,000 EB-5 visas has been reached.

This action means that the maximum number of EB-5 immigrant visas available for Chinese nationals has been reached for FY2014.  A sufficient number of EB-5 immigrant visas remain available for applicants from other countries in compliance with the visa allocation rules followed by the U.S. Department of State.  The visa allocation rules are designed to prevent nationals from one country from oversubscribing any particular immigrant visa category.  It is noteworthy, however, that this is the first time since the EB-5 program was created almost 25 years ago that EB-5 immigrant visas have become unavailable to applicants from one country.

The new allocation of 10,000 EB-5 immigrant visas will be available on October 1, 2014, and as a result there will be little impact whatsoever to Chinese EB-5 visa applicants.  This action by the U.S. Department of State demonstrates the strong demand among Chinese nationals for the EB-5 visa preference category.  Should such demand continue unabated, it is entirely likely that the unavailability of the EB-5 visa preference category to Chinese nationals will be routine.  As a result, this issue is sure to be monitored carefully by the EB-5 community and likely result on continued pressure on the Obama administration to lift the annual limitation of 10,000 EB-5 immigrant visas.