The Department of State has released its Visa Bulletin for May 2015 and, as predicted back in October 2014 by Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, Charles Oppenheim, the EB-5 category will retrogress for nationals of China. The cut-off for processing will be May 1, 2013. The cut-off date for a foreign national is established by the filing date of the I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur and is shown on the receipt notice in the “Priority Date” box. As such, Chinese nationals who wish to adjust their status to legal permanent resident in May 2015 must have a priority date of May 1, 2013 or earlier.
Priority dates move, often in an unpredictable manner, and it is recommended that applicants check the Visa Bulletin each month for processing updates. In addition to checking the Visa Bulletin, applicants should check for updates on the President’s initiatives which were announced in November 2014. It is possible that changes could be made that would allow for an applicant to be paroled into the U.S., allowing them to apply for work authorization. For those who are currently in the U.S. seeking to adjust their status, there could be provisions made for early adjustment which would allow for work authorization while waiting for an immigrant visa to become available. Additional changes which would positively impact EB-5 processing would be the ability to utilize unused visas from past years, as well as discontinuing the practice of counting dependents of EB-5 Entrepreneurs against the immigrant visa quota.
Finally, please note that the EB-5 retrogression only pertains to nationals who were born in mainland China, irrespective of their citizenship. So if a national from China is the spouse of a person who was born in a country other than China, they could be ”cross-chargeable” to their spouse’s country, thereby not subject to retrogression.
For more information, please contact Mechelle Zarou at 419.321.1460 or firstname.lastname@example.org.