Magazine

Understanding Eb-5 Statistics|How Many EB-5 Visas are There Per Year?

Annual Allocation: Understanding the Number of EB-5 Visas Available Each Year

last updated Saturday, February 3, 2024
#eb 5 statistics #EB-5 Visa Supply eb 5 statistics



John Burson     Subscribe
Untitled

CONTENTS

Key Points:

  • Maximum number of issued visas
    • There is a statutory annual cap of 10,000 on the number of EB-5 visas that can be issued yearly.
    • The number of visas issued might be lower than the cap.
  • Number of available visa slots
    • Not all 10,000 visa slots are automatically available every year.
    • At least 3,000 slots are reserved for applicants investing in projects sponsored by Regional Centers.
    • Unused "Regional Center Visas Slots" can be allocated to "direct" EB-5 investors.
  • EB-5 visa slots depend on several factors
    • Demand from investors, more demand can lead to faster utilization of visa slots.
    • Processing times. Longer processing times can lead to backlogs and fewer visas issued.
    • Regional Center participation. If Regional Center investment is high, fewer individual investor visa slots might be available.

Regional Center Pilot Program

The Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, established by Section 610 of Public Law 102-395 on October 6, 1992, has been extended until September 30, 2012. 

The EB-5 requirements for investors in the Pilot Program mirror those of the standard EB-5 investor program. Still, the Pilot Program allows for investments linked to a "Regional Center," introducing a less restrictive job creation requirement involving both "indirect" and "direct" jobs.

Regional Center Adjudications 

A Regional Center goes beyond being a designated geographic area; it is a business entity that organizes foreign investment within that area, adhering to the EB-5 statutory, regulatory, and precedent decision framework. 

It's important to note that Regional Centers do not possess exclusive jurisdiction over their designated geographic regions.

Regional Center Statistics

There are 90 approved Regional Centers spanning 34 states, including the District of Columbia and Guam. You can find a comprehensive list of these approved regional centers on the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov/eb-5centers.

About 90% of individual Form I-526 petitions annually come from Alien Investors engaged in Regional Center-affiliated investments. Currently, there are 70 pending Regional Center Proposals with USCIS, and the typical processing time for these proposals is four months.

Eb 5 Statistics by Country

Below, we will go over country-specific statistics based on Table 1. I - 526 form, Table 2 High Unemployment vs Rural Visas, Table 3. EB-5 Visa Supply Rural vs High Unemployment

Table 1. I-526 and I-526E statistics.

I-526 is the form for direct investment projects, while I-526E is for investments through Regional Centers.

The data represents the period from April 1, 2022, to April 30, 2023, EB 5 success rate by TEA Category and Country of Chargeability (summarized from data in the USCIS response to FOIA request by AIIA)

Category China India Rest of World Total # Total %
Rural 247 57 73 377 24%
HU 429 180 481 1,090 69%
Infrastructure 0%
Not TEA 23 15 75 113 7%
Rural and High Unemployment 2 3 5 0%
Total % 44% 16% 40% 100%
Total # 701 252 632 1,585

Table 1. Number of I-526 and I-526E

Table Agenda. HU = High Unemployment, TEA = Targeted Employment Area

Source: https://iiusa.org/blog/iiusa-data-report-form-i-526e-form-i-526-direct-and-form-i-526-legacy-statistics-for-q3-fiscal-year-2023/



Table 2. High Unemployment vs Rural Visas, Supply and Demand.

A

I-526 filings up to 4/30/2023

B

Estimated visa demand as of 4/30/2023. If visa demand = fillings*2

C

Visa supply allocation by country

D

Visa Supply in Carryover Year 1

E

Visa Supply Without Carryover

EB5 Visa. High Unemployment Category.
Total 1,090 2,180 2,000 1,000
China 429 858 Minimum 7% 140+ 70+
India 180 360 Minimum 7% 140+ 70+
Rest of world 481 962 Maximum 86% 1,720 860
EB5 Visa. Rural Category.
Total 377 754 4,000         2,000
China 247 494 Minimum 7% 280+             140+
India 57 114 Minimum 7% 280+             140+
Rest of world 73 146 Maximum 86% 3,440         1,720

Table 2. Estimated Pipeline Demand for High Unemployment and Rural Visas Compared with Supply

Table Agenda. HU = High Unemployment

Table 2 Detailed analytics

Table 2 is created to aid in obtaining broad estimates regarding the proximity to reaching the maximum visa availability in EB-5 set-aside categories as of April 30, 2023. 

COLUMN B


  • (Column B) Estimate of Visa Demand 
    • Derived from I-526 filings.
  • (Columns D and E) Annual Visa Supply Approximations 
    • Columns D and E provide yearly supply estimates.
  • Backlog Risk Assessment:
    • Compare Total D to Total B for potential backlog risk.
    • If Total D surpasses Total B, no immediate backlog risk for Chinese or Indian applicants.
  • Country-Specific Supply/Demand Consideration:
    • If Total D is less than Total B, delve into country-specific supply/demand figures.
    • Consider potential backlogs and wait times.
  • (Column D) Carryover Visa Supply 
    • Reflects a year enriched with carryover visa supply.
    • Subsequent years (Column E) will have only half the supply, increasing backlog risk.

Category-Specific Analysis

  • Rural Category (As of April 2023)
    • Promising outlook with over four available visas in a carryover year.
    • Over two visas yearly for each estimated applicant.
  • High Unemployment Category (As of April 2023)
    • Entering risky territory with total pipeline visa demand surpassing annual supply.
    • Demand would be double the available supply in a standard year.
  • Impact of "Rest of the World" Demand
    • Limits unused visas for China/India.
    • Signals potential for exceeding visa availability, leading to wait times.
  • Backlog Risk Mitigation Considerations
    • A high denial rate for I-526E or unreserved visa issuances may mitigate backlog risk.
  • Current Trajectory Concerns
    The current trajectory, especially for Chinese and Indian investors, may be unsustainable without significant changes.

I-526 Filings Projection

  1. Data Source and Projection
    Table 2 is based on approximately eight months of I-526 filings (9/2022-4/2023).
    To project the current status eight months later, roughly double the figures in Columns A and B. Adjust based on category demand estimations throughout the year.

The following breaks down the numbers and assumptions in Table 2 and offers examples of using the table for calculations.

COLUMN A


(Column A). I-526 fillings.

  • Data Source and Period
    • Based on I-526 and I-526E filings for set-aside categories from 2022 initiation to April 2023.
  • USCIS Reporting Clarification
    • Categories reported by petitioners on Form I-526 and I-526E may differ from USCIS classification upon approval.
  • Approval Discrepancies Example
    • USCIS might not approve the requested TEA or could approve I-526E in more than one visa category.

Monthly Data Insights

  • Consistent Volume (September 2022-April 2023)
    • Monthly data shows a consistent receipt volume during this period.
  • Projection Methodology
    • Double Column A numbers for a similar volume post-April 2023 estimate.
    • Adjust the multiplier based on perceived investment/filing pace changes for a more accurate rural/high unemployment category estimate.

Data Update and Estimations

  • FOIA Request for Updated Data
    • AIIA has submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for more recent data.
  • Pending Response
    • Pending a response to the FOIA request, estimations are necessary for current data assessments.

COLUMN B


(Column B.) Visa demand estimate.

Pipeline Visa Demand Estimation

  • Consideration Factors
    • Anticipates successful visa applications from I-526/I-526E filings.
    • Recognizes not every petition/application will be approved.
    • Acknowledges investors initially counted may include family members during the visa stage.
  • Estimation Methodology
    • A typical approach involves multiplying I-526 receipts by 2.
    • Assumes a 25% denial/attrition rate and an average family size of 2.8.
  • Adjustment Suggestions
    • Aligns with EB-5 historical trends.
    • Adjust the multiplier based on anticipated higher/lower denial rates or actual family size variations.

(Column B) as "Pipeline" Visa Demand

  • Queue Definition
    • Individuals in the queue, awaiting USCIS petition processing.
    • Not yet classified as visa applicants.
  • Priority Date Example
    • A high unemployment applicant with a May 1, 2023, priority date views the Column B total as the estimated queue size ahead.
  • Understanding Waiting Times
    • If individuals with priority dates up to April 30 anticipate claiming 2,180 visas, the May 1 applicant would be in line for the 2,181st high unemployment visa.
  • Impact of Additional Applications
    • If an extra 2,000 high-unemployment applicants submit applications since April 30, the current investor would expect to wait for over 4,000 applicants to secure high-unemployment visas ahead.
  • Consideration of Country Cap Limits
    • Recognizes the reality is more intricate due to country cap limits eventually influencing priority date order.
  • General Understanding
    • Provides a simplified yet general understanding of the waiting process for investors in the queue.

COLUMN C


(Column C) Visa supply allocation.

  1. Smooth Operation with Surplus Supply
    No need for traffic control or involvement of visa bulletin and country caps if total high unemployment visas surpass qualified demand.
  2. Scenario of Low Demand
    In a year with fewer than 800 applicants for over 4,000 available visas, all applicants receive visas without regard to their country of origin.
  3. Activation of Visa Bulletin
    In a competitive year (e.g., 2,200 applicants for 2,000 visas), the visa bulletin is activated to defer applicants, starting with countries exceeding the country cap.
  4. Country-Cap Limited Countries
    • China and India, with high EB-5 demand, are subject to country caps.
    • Vietnam, South Korea, and Taiwan, despite high EB-5 demand, are not subject to country caps.
      (As a reminder for how country caps work within categories and to whom they apply, review Section A in any Visa Bulletin, the EB-4 Federal Register explanation, this handy slide visual from the AIIA webinar, and Charles Oppenheim’s explanation from the AIIA webinar.

Country Cap Restrictions

  • 7% Cap for Country-Capped Countries
    Individuals from country-capped countries are restricted to 7% of available visas plus the remainder after accounting for rest-of-world demand.
  • Adjustable Baseline for China and India
    The 7% cap serves as a baseline but can be increased if demand outside China and India is less than 86% of the category supply.
  • Influence of Rest-of-World Demand
    Chinese and Indian applicants closely monitor the Rest of the World's demand, influencing the 7% allocation.

Potential Shortage for Non-Country-Capped Countries

  • Risk for "Rest of the World"
    Historically exempt, EB-5 now faces the risk of visa shortages for the "rest of the world" due to increasing demand.
  • Backlog Radar for "Rest of the World"
    With 40% of EB-5 demand from the "rest of the world," the category is now on the backlog radar.
  • Scenario Example
    In a scenario with 2,000 "rest of the world" applicants for 1,700 visas (minus 7% each for China and India), the visa bulletin defers excess applicants until the following year.

COLUMN D


(Columns D). Visa Supply in Carryover Year 1 and E Visa Supply Without Carryover

Table 2 Supply Numbers

  • Rounded Supply Numbers
    Table 2 utilizes rounded supply numbers for simplified estimates.
  • Reference for Detailed Explanation
    Detailed annual supply calculation, including post-COVID EB limits and carryover nuances, is provided in Table 3.

Visa Stage Anticipation

  • Pipeline Demand Timing
    Anticipates significant demand for EB-5 set-asides reaching the visa stage in FY2025.
  • Issuance Expectation for FY2024
    Foresees only a few set-aside visas being issued in FY2024, resulting in maximum carryover numbers for FY2025.

Optimistic Outlook for the Current Year

  • Leveraging Unusually High Limit
    Hopes for the issuance of many set-aside visas in the current year, leveraging an unusually high limit.
  • Alleviating Future Supply Pressure
    Aims to alleviate pressure on future supply by maximizing set-aside visa issuance this year.

Table 3. EB-5 Visa Supply Rural vs High Unemployment

Rural Category (Annual)
Total EB Visas EB-5 (7.1% EB) Rural (20% EB-5) Rural Carryover Unused Rural Total Visas Available Rural Visas Used
2022 281,507 19,987 3,997 3,997 0
2023 197,091 13,993 2,799 3,997 6,796 0
2024 161,000 11,431 2,286 2,799 5,085 <2,799
2025 140,000 9,940 1,988 2,286 4,274 NA
2026 140,000 9,940 1,988 NA 1,988 NA
High Unemployment Category (Annual)
Total EB Visas EB-5 (7.1% EB) HU (10% EB-5) HU Carryover Unused High Unemployment Total Visas HU Visas Used
2022 281,507 19,987 1,999 1,999 0
2023 197,091 13,993 1,399 1,999 3,398 0
2024 161,000 11,431 1,143 1,399 2,542 <1,399
2025 140,000 9,940 994 1,143 2,137 NA
2026 140,000 9,940 994 NA 994 NA

Table 3. EB-5 Visa Supply Detail

Sources:

For more detailed information and guidance on each of these steps, resources and assistance are available at paperfree.com/en/eb5.

 
 
 

Subscribe to Paperfree Magazine

Free Paperfree Concierge Service


Paperfree Concierge

Get dedicated service, from finding the right information to complex investment challenges.


EB-5 visa slots


JOIN FREE TODAY


Real estate investment strategies



Add Content to Magazine