Department of State Estimates Visa Waiting Lists for EB-5 Investors

Washington D.C., October 30, 2019:   Recent information provided by the U.S. Department of State regarding EB-5 visa usage and potential waiting lists estimate – on a worst case scenario – a waiting list of approximately 6.5 years for newly filed EB-5 visa petitions by Indian born investors, and 16 years for newly filed EB-5 vis petitions by investors born in the People’s Republic of China.

Since these estimates are worst case scenarios, potential waiting lists may prove shorter. The main variable favoring shorter waiting lists is dramatically decreased demand for EB-5 visas after 2017 from the People’s Republic of China – who were the main applicants in the EB-5 program from 2008 to 2017. Interestingly, the information provided by the U.S. Department of State points towards a potential waiting list of 8 to 10 years for visa petitions by investors from the People’s Republic of China filed at the high-point of the program during 2014 to 2017.

Finally, data from the U.S. Department of State shows a diversification in the popularity of the EB-5 program after 2017. Investors from India have grown significantly, as well as from countries in Europe and Latin America (particularly Venezuela and Mexico).  Nevertheless, overall usage of the program is down since its peak in 2015-2017, which means less foreign investment into the United States.

Donoso & Associates, a leading immigration law firm based in Washington, D.C., will continue to report on developments regarding the immigration law and policy through our news section of


I.A. Donoso & Associates provide assistance with review and advice regarding eligibility for visas to the U.S. or Canada.

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