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India No Longer Faces EB-5 Visa Retrogression

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India is no longer facing a visa backlog.

This progression comes despite the closures of the U.S. foreign consulates and embassies. The Dates for Filing on the Visa Bulletin remain unchanged in July, but USCIS has stated that they will instead be using Final Action Dates to determine who is eligible to file for adjustment of status. Therefore, in order to become eligible to file for adjustment of status, an EB-5 investor must have a current priority date or a priority date that is earlier than the cutoff date listed for their country on the Final Action Date chart. This impacts EB-5 investors from China and Vietnam who may be in the U.S., but do not have a priority date that is earlier than the listed cutoff date. For Indian EB-5 investors residing in the U.S., however, they can continue with the process and file for adjustment of status.

Released by USCIS ,New data based on I-526 petition filings reveals that for fiscal year 2019, India became the largest EB-5 market, beating out China and Vietnam.

Only 21 EB-5 I-526 petitions were filed with USCIS in FY 2019 Q2. This is a historically low level for USCIS. It is likely due to the new EB-5 regulations nearly doubling the investment amount and changing how targeted employment areas are designated, Covid-19 travel and immigration restrictions, as well as economic worries.

The low numbers of I-526 filings, slowly reduced processing times at the Immigrant Investor Office, and eliminated visa retrogression for India may be just what many Indian nationals were waiting for and will now seriously consider applying. The full impact of Covid-19 may yet to be seen. Cities like New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami, which were targeted when the new regulations came out, may again be offering projects to EB-5 investors due to hardships that resulted from Coronavirus.

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