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EB-5 Visa Waiting Lines Update for 2019


The IIUSA EB-5 Industry Forum was held on May 6th in Washington D.C. Charles Oppenheim, Chief of DOS Visa Control and Reporting Division for the U.S. Department of State, updated attendees on the use and expected availability of EB-5 visas. Below, we discuss some of the important topics from Mr. Oppenheim’s presentation.

EB-5 Visa Use Worldwide

According to Mr. Oppenheim, 5,077 EB-5 visas were used in the first half of FY 2019. Similar to FY 2018, fewer EB-5 visas were used by China mainland nationals (CMN) than the rest of the world (ROW):

  • CMN: 2,234
  • ROW: 2,863

Mr. Oppenheim said that although EB-5 visa usage decreased in the rest of the world, Vietnam and India used 10% more EB-5 visas in FY 2019.

China’s Annual Visa Quota

Mr. Oppenheim also explained that, historically, China-mainland typically takes all of the “unused” EB-5 visas from countries that don’t meet the per-country quota. According to Mr. Oppenheim, an estimated 3,660 “unused” EB-5 visas in FY 2019 will be made available to applicants with the earliest priority dates. This marks a slight decrease from the 3,800 that was estimated in October 2018.

Principal Investors & Derivative Beneficiaries

Currently, there are about 10,000 EB-5 visas allocated to:

  • Immigrant Investors
  • Their Children
  • Unmarried Children Under the Age of 21

Mr. Oppenheim notes that 41% of EB-5 visas issued by people chargeable to India went to principal investors in FY 2018. Principal investors from Vietnam were issued 26%. Because each country has an annual limit of 700 visas, less Vietnamese families are able to immigrate. This can substantially impact the actual waiting line.

Predictions for Final Action Dates

The following are Mr. Oppenheim’s predictions for Final Action Dates for EB-5:


  • Best Case Scenario for October 2019: October 15th,2014
  • Worst Case Scenario for October 2019: October 8th, 2014


  • Best Case Scenario for October 2019: December 15th, 2016
  • Worst Case Scenario for October 2019: November 22nd,2016


  • Imposition of a Final Action Date: Likely in July 2019
  • Best Case Scenario for October 2019: Fall 2017
  • Worst Case Scenario for October 2019: Summer 2017

All other countries will remain current for the foreseeable future.

Potential Wait Times for EB-5 Investors

The following are wait time estimates if you filed I-526 on May 6th, 2019:

  • China: Roughly 16.5 years
  • Vietnam: Roughly 7.6 years
  • India: Roughly 8.4 years
  • South Korea: Roughly 2.4 years
  • Taiwan: Roughly 2 years
  • Brazil: Roughly 1.6 years

Are you thinking of applying for an EB-5 visa in San Jose? Then call (408) 560-4622 to request your consultation with our lawyers at the Verma Law Firm today.

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