How Do Unused Carryover EB-5 Reserved Visas Affect Future Visa Availability?
A total of 6,396 EB5 visas were allocated to the set-aside category in FY 2022 but were left unused. Under the RIA, these unused EB 5 visas from FY 2022 will be carried over to the unreserved category in FY 2024. Since the annual limit for worldwide employment-based immigrant visas is estimated to be 160,000, there will be 11,360 new EB 5 visas available for FY 2024. Of these EB-5 visa numbers, 7,724 will go to the unreserved category. Therefore, a total of 14,120 EB-5 visas are expected to be available for the unreserved category for FY 2024.
The table below shows the estimates for unused reserved visa carryover from FY 2022 and FY 2023 to FY 2024.
|Newly Available EB-5 Visas (7.1%)
|Unreserved (68% of newly available visas)
|Reserved (32% of newly available visas)
|Carryover Visas added to Reserved Category
|Carryover Visas added to Unreserved Category
|Total Unreserved Visas
|Total Reserved Visas
How Do EB-5 Reserved Visas Affect Post-RIA Investors?
The DOS reports that no EB-5 set aside visas were issued to post-RIA investors for FY 2023. The issuance of set aside visas for post-RIA investors is expected in late FY 2024 now that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved I-526E petitions.
How Do EB-5 Reserved Visas Affect Pre-RIA Investors?
Foreign investors who applied before the enactment of the RIA in 2022 are unable to obtain EB 5 Reserved Visas even if they are qualified based on TEA or infrastructure project investment. However, the RIA allows the unused EB 5 visa set-asides from FY2022 to be carried over to unreserved categories. This carryover is expected to alleviate the backlog for pre-RIA investors for FY 2024.
What are the Final Action Dates for EB-5 Reserved Visas?
The final action dates for EB-5 Set Aside categories are shown to be “current” based on the DOS Visa Bulletin. Final action dates for EB 5 Reserved Visas may need to be issued by the second half of FY 2024 based on the current USCIS processing times. Should priority processing result in expedited approval of EB-5 petitions, the final action dates for EB5 set asides can be released earlier in FY 2024.
Do EB-5 Reserved Visas Help with the Visa Backlog?
Yes, an EB 5 Reserved Visa is available to an eligible investor regardless of their country of origin. This is extremely beneficial for post-RIA investors from backlogged countries such as China. However, a current priority date at the time of filing the I-526/I-526E petition does not guarantee that an immigrant investor will not face a visa backlog in the future. The possibility of a visa backlog will depend on the volume of applications for EB-5 Set Aside categories.
Do Country Caps Apply to EB-5 Reserved Visa Availability?
Yes, the country cap for EB5 Visas applies even to the reserved category. EB 5 rules state that no country can obtain more than 7% of the total number of visas made available in a fiscal year under the “per country” limitations. The country cap restricts the advantages of a quicker issuance of Reserved EB5 Visas especially for high-volume countries such as China, Vietnam, India, and South Korea. The usage of unused EB-5 Visas, which would be made available in priority date order without respect to the foreign state of chargeability, could be advantageous for investors from these countries.
EB5 BRCIS and EB-5 Reserved Visas
EB5 BRICS is the expert in immigration through investment under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. We have successfully helped our investors apply for Reserved EB-5 Visas and priority processing. Contact us for more information on Rural TEA Projects to qualify for an EB5 Reserved Visa.