MUMBAI, June 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — CanAm Enterprises (“CanAm”) is pleased to share key takeaways from IIUSA‘s webinar: Conversation with Charlie Oppenheim. Oppenheim is the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division at U.S. Department of State. During the webinar, he answered questions about EB-5 visa usage through May 2020.
EB-5 Visa Numbers in FY2020 and FY 2021
Oppenheim estimates that over 4,500 EB-5 visa numbers have been issued thus far for FY2020, which is well short of the approximately 10,000 EB-5 visas available each fiscal year. It is very likely that a significant number of EB-5 visa numbers will go unused for FY2020 largely due to COVID-related consular closures around the world. However, Oppenheim anticipates that there will also be significant numbers of unused family-based visas in FY2020, which will spillover and be added to the 140,000 annual visas already allocable to the employment-based visa categories for FY2021. He also estimated that the total number of employment-based visas available for FY2021 “is likely to be well in excess” of 200,000, representing a minimum net gain of 60,000 visas for all employment-based preference categories. Accordingly, it is very possible that we can expect well in excess of 14,200 EB-5 visas to be available for distribution in FY 2021.
“In the grand scheme of things,” Oppenheim indicated, “the loss in EB-5 numbers used in FY2020 will be more than offset by the additional visas that will be available next fiscal year.” Thus, Oppenheim noted, FY2021 “should be a very good year” under the current INA guidelines for visa availability for employment applicants.
India Visa Movement
The July 2020 Visa Bulletin now lists the priority date for India EB-5 as “Current,” which means that visas are immediately available to Indian applicants. Based on the 667 Indian EB-5 applicants already at NVC who have been or could be processed during FY 2020, and the expected increase in visa numbers in the FY2021 (noted above), Oppenheim expects to see a significant reduction in wait time for an Indian EB-5 investors who are filing today. He does not expect to see India facing a potential retrogression in the foreseeable future. However, the EB-5 visa “wait times” could again increase as USCIS picks up the pace of I-526 Petition adjudications and starts to refer more petitions to the NVC for processing.
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