The USCIS March Visa Bulletin announced a 16-month retrogression for Indian EB-5 petitioners in the unreserved category, with a final action date of June 1, 2018. The February date was March 8, 2019.
On our website eb5Marketplace.com, we have been projecting that Indian applicants in non-reserved categories are likely to be facing a nine-year EB-5 application processing time, and I think this latest Visa Bulletin supports that estimate.
This latest retrogression results from higher application volumes than USCIS initially anticipated, leading to delays in visa number availability.
The longer wait time for Indian EB-5 investors doesn't just present uncertainty regarding immigration status and investment success, it can impact dependent family members, and also have financial implications.
The rural visa set-aside is the solutions for new Indian investors
The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 introduced two new lines for EB-5 visas: 20% of all EB-5 visas were specifically allocated for rural investments and 10% for high-unemployment offerings. Currently, neither new visa line faces delays in processing.
However, due to the larger number of applicants in high-unemployment offerings, retrogression in this category could occur in the near future. Meanwhile, EB-5 investments made into rural areas are not likely to see delays for at least the next couple of years.
These alternative routes can help Indian investors avoid lengthy processing times and secure their EB-5 visas more efficiently. Indian investors should carefully consider their options and the potential wait times associated with each visa category.
To discuss investment options, schedule an appointment with me here.