According to the October 2020 Visa Bulletin, the anticipated annual limit for employment-based visas is approximately 261,500 for FY 2021, which start on October 1st. Generally speaking, the EB-5 Program get about 7.1% of the available employment-based visas, approximately 18,566.
From the October 2020 Visa Bulletin:
“Employment-based: All of the Final Action and Application Filing Dates have been advanced at a very rapid pace, in anticipation of the FY 2021 annual limit being approximately 261,500, an all-time high. The movement of these dates has been taken in consultation with USCIS Office of Policy and Strategy to accommodate processing plans for USCIS Offices during the coming fiscal year and to maximize number use within the FY 2021 annual limits. Pending demand, in the form of applications for adjustment of status, and documentarily qualified immigrant visa applicants, is well below the estimated annual limit of 261,500.”
In the past, the annual amount of available employment-based visas was 140,000. Of these, the EB-5 Program received 7.1% or 9,940. This year's new limit nearly doubles the amount of available visas for the EB-5 Visa Program.
Where did these extra visas come from? They are a result of unused FY 2020 family-based visas.
What does this mean for various countries? Because the per country visa cap is a percentage (7%), the number of available visas will increase to almost 1,300 visas per country.
If worldwide demand remains low and USCIS processing picks up, the thousands of unclaimed EB-5 visas may go to Mainland China investors - finally providing some relief to the backlog.