Record Number of EB-5 Visas Available in High Unemployment and Rural Areas for FY 2024 and FY 2025

EB-5 Visa Availability 2024: What Investors Need to Know

last updated Tuesday, July 9, 2024
#EB-5 Visa Opportunities #EB-5 Visa for High Unemployment Areas

John Burson     Subscribe
Record Number of EB-5 Visas Available in High Unemployment and Rural Areas for FY 2024 and FY 2025 | EB-5 Visa for High Unemployment Areas


In a significant development for the EB-5 investor immigrant visa program, a record number of EB-5 visas are available in both the high unemployment and rural area set-aside categories for the fiscal years 2024 and 2025. This increase in visa availability offers a unique opportunity for investors aiming to gain U.S. residency through the EB-5 program.

Overview of the EB-5 Visa Program

Benefits of the EB-5 Investor Visa Program

The EB-5 Investor Visa Program provides a pathway to U.S. residency for foreign investors who make substantial investments in American businesses. These investments are intended to stimulate the U.S. economy and create jobs. The key benefits of the EB-5 program include the ability to live, work, and study in the United States and, eventually, the possibility of obtaining U.S. citizenship.

Impact of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA)

Creation of Set-Aside Visa Categories

The passage of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA) in 2022 marked the most significant changes to the EB-5 investor immigrant visa program since its inception in 1990. One of the fundamental changes introduced by the RIA was the creation of new "set aside" visa categories, which allocate a portion of the 10,000 EB-5 immigrant visas available each year to specific investment areas or projects. These include:

  • 20% reserved for investments in rural areas.
  • 10% reserved for investments in targeted employment areas (TEA) with high unemployment rates.
  • 2% reserved for investments in infrastructure projects.

EB-5 Visa Availability and Set-Aside Categories

Record Visa Availability for FY 2024 and FY 2025

For FY 2024 and FY 2025, the number of EB-5 visas available in these set-aside categories has reached unprecedented levels. Specifically, more than 14,000 unreserved EB-5 visas and over 8,000 set-aside visas are available for FY 2024. For FY 2025, predictions indicate more than 11,000 unreserved EB-5 visas and over 6,800 set-aside visas. This means approximately 9,800 rural visas and 4,900 high-unemployment EB-5 visas will be available over these fiscal years, providing significant opportunities for investors.

Advantages of Investing in High Unemployment and Rural Areas

Priority Processing

Investing in Rural TEA EB-5 Projects under the EB-5 program offers the advantage of priority processing. Applications in these categories often receive faster processing times compared to other regions.

Lower Investment Threshold

The investment requirement for these areas is typically lower, making it more accessible for a broader range of investors.

Economic Impact

Investments in high unemployment and rural areas contribute significantly to local economic growth, creating jobs and fostering community development.

Concurrent Filing and Adjustment of Status

Benefits of Concurrent Filing

The RIA allows for the concurrent filing of the investor immigrant visa petition (Form I-526E) and adjustment of status (Form I-485) for those present in the U.S. This provision offers multiple benefits, including reducing the overall processing time and simplifying the visa acquisition process.

Child Status Protection Act (CSPA)

The concurrent filing also helps lock in a dependent child’s age under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), providing a tolling of age progression while the petition is in process and based on the unavailability of a visa number.

Visa Bulletin and Potential Retrogression

Importance of Monitoring Visa Bulletin

The availability of EB-5 immigrant visas is subject to multiple factors, including country of birth and the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin. Investors must monitor Visa Bulletin releases and government data to effectively plan their investments and petition filings.

Strategies to Avoid Retrogression

To avoid the challenges of retrogression, investors should consider filing their petitions early and exploring alternative pathways if they are from high-demand countries. Consulting with experienced EB-5 visa consultants can provide valuable insights and strategies.

Book a free consultation with Paperfree's expert EB-5 Visa Consultants and claim your American dream!


The increased availability of EB-5 visas in these set-aside categories presents a significant opportunity for investors looking to obtain U.S. residency through the EB-5 program. By strategically investing in designated high-unemployment or rural areas, investors can take advantage of the benefits offered by the EB-5 program while contributing to the economic development of these regions.

For more detailed information, read the full article by the original authors on EB-5 Insights.


  1. "EB-5 Filing Strategies: Continued Immigrant Visa Availability Under the RIAS Set-Aside Categories," EB-5 Insights, 2024.
  2. “The Visa Bulletin,” U.S. DEPARTMENT of STATE — BUREAU of CONSULAR AFFAIRS, 2024.

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