Quota For USA Investor Visa Reached Early

By Dex Tennyson, for ExpatBriefing.com 28 August, 2014

The quota for an investor visa that offers a fast-track to permanent residency in the USA has been filled a month before the end of the 2014 financial year, prompting warnings of a backlog and of complications in the years ahead.

The visas are issued through the USA's EB-5 program, which provides residency in return for a minimum business investment of USD500,000 in an area with high unemployment or in a rural location, or of USD1m elsewhere. Although no single country has an entitlement to more than seven percent of the visas on offer, leftover visas are reallocated and most applicants are actually Chinese nationals. The shortage of visas consequently exclusively affects investors from China.

This is the first time that the limit of 10,000 visas has been reached before the end of the financial year on September 30. The head of the Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division at the State Department, Charles Oppenheim, told an EB-5 conference in Chicago that the move will not affect applicants who are scheduled for interview and who have been given a visa number already. New or rescheduled requests will be held in a pending file until October 1.

However, the official also warned that the next cut-off point may be in the spring, and that a two-year backlog is expected. Robert C. Divine, the Vice President of IIUSA, a trade association for the EB-5, explained that future cut-off dates will not affect processing of immigration documentation, but that they will delay when processed documentation can be used to gain residency. He warned that this could have consequences for investors with children approaching 21 years old, who could be "aged out," and postpone the point to which an investor will have to maintain their investment.

Tags: Investment | China | United States | Expats | Visas And Passports |


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