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Regional Center EB-5 Resumes, As Indian Waiting List Looms

Washington, D.C. – February 8, 2019 With government funding and the EB-5 Regional Center program extended through Feb. 15, 2019, Indian-born investors are reacting to industry expectations of a waiting list for India. In an October 2018 statement, Mr. Charles Oppenheim, the head of the Department of State’s Visa Control Office, discussed the likelihood of a five-year waiting list for Indian-born EB-5 petitioners, causing some potential investors to rethink their green card strategies and others to accelerate their application process, hoping to secure an earlier priority date and participate under the current US$500,000 investment threshold. The visa waiting list could either fall short of predictions due to divorce, death, petition denial, and investor withdrawal from EB-5 projects, or it could exceed predictions due to births and marriages, which result in usage rates for available visas. The waiting list is measured from the date of the first I-526 petition, so time spent waiting for I-526 approval also serves to satisfy the waiting list requirement. A new waiting list could especially affect Indian investors in two situations: those present in the U.S. and seeking to remain here until their green card is issued, and those with teenage children. Investors trying to stay in the U.S. would need several additional years of valid nonimmigrant status before adjusting status, or otherwise leave the U.S. and continue with consular processing overseas. For investors with teenage children, a five-year waiting list could mean the removal (“age out”) of their children from the parents’ EB-5 petitions due to an age limit of 21 for dependent children. Many investors in such situations are contemplating an additional EB-5 petition with their child as the main petitioner, to guard against “age out”. Original Post: Donoso Law