Take a look at the EB-5 latest news for July 2020. See new EB-5 market trends that began to emerge in FY 2019, how I-526 petition receipts have been impacted by everything going on in the U.S. as well as the rest of the world, and what that all means for the future.
EB-5 Market Trends Using I-526 Filing Data from FY 2019 (Q1 and Q3):
Take a look at the top EB-5 countries which filed I-526 petitions in FY2019 (Q1 and Q3) from IIUSA. FY2019 is really a turning point in EB-5 filings, Mainland China is no longer the top EB-5 market. Long wait times and visa retrogression have many Chinese nationals rethinking if their future lies with EB-5. India, however, is a fast-growing EB-5 market. In FY2019, India took the top spot with 726 filings according to IIUSA data. Mainland China was second with 351 filings, and Vietnam was third with 240 filings. These three countries make up 56% of the total I-526 petition filings for these quarters and fiscal year.
Other countries that remained top players include South Korea, Taiwan, South Africa, Venezuela, Hong Kong, and Canada. New fast-growing markets include Nigeria, Egypt, Argentina, and Mexico.
Sharp Decline in I-526 Petition Receipts in Q2 FY 2020:
Covid-19, closed U.S. consulates and embassies, a bearish economy, and new EB-5 regulations are a few of the major reasons many are contributing to the huge drop in I-526 petition filings received for Q2 of FY 2020. USCIS only received 21 forms in Q2 of FY2020, a huge drop from the 4,264 forms received in Q1 of the same fiscal year.
Once U.S. consulates and embassies reopen, travel restrictions are lifted, and local U.S. economies bounce back, will EB-5 filings spike? Other countries’ responses to Covid-19 may push foreign nationals to look to immigration elsewhere and despite the increased minimum investment amount for EB-5, the U.S. is likely to remain a top destination.
A Unique Opportunity for Indian Prospective Investors?
Overall, interest in EB-5 from India has grown fast. India has also been made “Current” on the July 2020 EB-5 Visa Bulletin, meaning qualified EB-5 investors with approved I-526 petitions may immediately proceed in the process to file for a U.S. visa. Many Indian nationals also apply for EB-5 while living in the U.S. on another visa, meaning instead of being halted in the EB-5 process waiting on a U.S. consulate to reopen they can instead apply for an adjustment of status.
Will More EB-5 Visas Be Available In FY 2021?
Although consulate closures mean many EB-5 investors are prevented from proceeding in the immigration process, it also means other foreign nationals pursuing other categories of U.S. visas are also halted from proceeding in their immigration processes. Any unused visas from this year specifically for the family-based category will roll over into next year’s employment-based category. In other words, the EB-5 Program may receive several thousand more visas to give to qualified investors in FY 2021 due to those current visas going unused.