Comparing FY2009 to FY2010 EB-5 visa usage

02.02.11 | Archived

The U.S. Department of State recently published their final visa usage statistics for FY2010.  A total of 1,885 EB-5 visas were issued, with the following countries making up the Top 10:

  1. People’s Republic of China (772 or 40.9%)
  2. Republic of South Korea (295 or 15.6%)
  3. Great Britain/Northern Ireland (135 or 7.1%)
  4. Taiwan (94 or 5.0%)
  5. India (62 or 3.3%)
  6. Iran (55 or 2.9%)
  7. Mexico (50 or 2.6%)
  8. Canada (45 or 2.4%)
  9. Russia (41 or 2.2%)
  10. South Africa (34 or 1.8%)

Combined they make up 1,583 of the 1,885, or about 84.0%, EB-5 visas issued.  For comparison sake, in FY2009 – when 4,218 EB-5 visas were issued – the above countries yielded the following visa issuance statistics:

  • People’s Republic of China (1,979 or 46.9%)
  • Republic of South Korea (903 or 21.4%)
  • Great Britain/Northern Ireland (324 or 7.7%)
  • Taiwan (170 or 4.0%)
  • India (72 or 1.7%)
  • Iran (12 or 0.2%)
  • Mexico (33 or 0.7%)
  • Canada (85 or 2.0%)
  • Russia (60 or 1.4%)
  • South Africa (31 or 0.7%)

The Top 10 for FY2009 was as follows:

  1. People’s Republic of China (1,979 or 46.9%)
  2. Republic of South Korea (903 or 21.4%)
  3. Great Britain/Northern Ireland (324 or 7.7%)
  4. Taiwan (170 or 4.0%)
  5. Canada (85 or 2.0%)
  6. Japan (84 or 2.0%)
  7. India (72 or 1.7%)
  8. Russia (60 or 1.4%)
  9. Netherlands (38 or 0.9%)
  10. Mexico (33 or 0.7%)

There are a couple of observations of note here.  Japan and the Netherlands dropped out of the Top 10 between the two years, replaced by Iran and South Africa.  While the Netherlands maintained a steady pace between the two years, falling only to 32 in FY2010, Japan fell from 84 in FY2009 to only 6 in FY2010.  Mexico visa issuance was up, as successful entrepreneurs moved away from the unstable political situation there.  Lastly, the Top 4 remained in the same spots between the two years.

One other major difference in numbers probably jumps out at you: there was a 55% drop in total EB-5 visa issuance between the two years.  I addressed this briefly in my January 20 blog entry (“President Obama’s Executive Order: An Example for Congress to Follow”) – showing that the drop reflected a valid USCIS policy to expedite EB-5 visa applications leading up to the last time the Program was due to “sunset” in 2009.  The number of I-526 petitions (which, if approved, allows EB-5 investors to apply for their conditional green card) filed over the same two years increased 90%.  Clearly, interest in the EB-5 Program has actually grown since it was extended for three years in September 2009.  The U.S. economy has benefited greatly as a result.

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