Higher-than-average number of EB-5 Visas for FY 2024
The Department of State has unveiled the Annual Numerical Limits for Fiscal Year 2024, establishing the employment-based visa limit at 161,000, surpassing the base allocation of 140,000.
Given that EB-5 receives 7.1% of all employment-based visas, this results in another above-average issuance of new EB-5 visas, totaling 11,431 (not including the carryover visas from the previous year).
“I have some hope that consulates and USCIS will work overtime to issue the 14,000+ unreserved EB-5 visas available this year, considering that all available unreserved EB-5 visas were issued in FY2023,” offers EB-5 processing expert Suzanne Lazicki.
Unused reserved visa carryover in EB-5
In the EB-5 program, there's a provision for carrying over unused reserved visas from one fiscal year to the next.
The Department of State (DOS) outlined this process in a recent meeting with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), emphasizing the priority use of carried-over visas from a previous fiscal year before utilizing the newly reserved visas for that fiscal year. Suzanne Lazicki points out that this approach maximizes the number of reserved visas in any given year.
It's crucial to note that carried-over reserved visas must be utilized within the year they are carried over, or they will be lost to that reserved category, and will then carry over into unreserved visas the following year. Furthermore, there's no provision for carrying over unused unreserved visas.
To summarize, suppose a new visa, such as a rural visa in FY 2023, remains unused. In that case, it will be carried over to the rural category in FY 2024. However, if it remains unused in that year, it will then transfer to the unreserved category in FY 2025. If it remains unused during that year, it will be permanently lost.
Projected number of rural visas in the next three years
Suzanne Lazicki has projected the count of reserved visas for the upcoming three fiscal years.
Notably, all 2,799 new rural visas designated for FY 2023 went unused, carrying over into FY 2024.
Lazicki's forecast assumes that in FY 2024, only the carried-over rural visas from the previous year will be used, while the new rural visas allocated for that year will all carry over into FY 2025*.
However, she expresses less certainty regarding FY 2025, suggesting that usage of new rural visas that year may limit the carry over into FY 2026.
New Rural Visas
Rural Visa Carryover
Total Rural Visas
Unused 2025 new rural visas
1,998 (minimum) + carryover
Projected number of high-unemployment visas in the next three years
Suzanne Lazicki has projected the number of high-unemployment reserved visas over the next three fiscal years.
In FY 2023, all 1,399 newly designated high-unemployment visas remained unused and are set to carry over into FY 2024.
Lazicki's projection anticipates that during FY 2024, none of the new high-unemployment visas allocated for that year will be utilized, and they will all carry over to the following fiscal year*.
New High-HU Visas
HU Visa Carryover
Total HU Visas
Unused 2025 new HU visas
994 (minimum) + carryover
See Suzanne Lazicki’s article “FY2024 Set-Aside Visa Availability Update”