Last year’s policy changes for investment visas aimed for better submissions by raising the effort and money you need to commit. Now, the U.S. government is looking to repay you by reducing the other big cost – time.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to change its approach to EB-5 visas. The previous improvements didn’t help the slow application process, but a new way of handling petitions could put you ahead of those who might be stuck waiting for years.
The shift in requirements last year allowed the department to focus on higher-quality petitions, but the lag in completing applications has continued. The new solution for working through bids will try to ease the delays by keeping an eye on countries that have visa openings and moving those petitions up the list.
Proof in the permits
The quotas in place state that applicants from one country can’t take more than 7% of the total amount of employment visas. But that didn’t stop USCIS from reviewing applications for EB-5 visas on a first-in basis with no concern for availability.
China alone had over 32,000 successful applications still awaiting a visa in May of last year – a wait that could last more than 16 years. Despite the backlog, USCIS was still processing Chinese applications ahead of nations with openings.
There are plenty of challenges when going through the EB-5 process, but jumping the line past those that still have a long wait can help. Make sure you’ve got everything in order, and you might be on your way to a visa when the U.S. finally calls your number.