EB-5 visa issuance in May reached the second-highest monthly volume of FY2024 – Data Analysis on Monthly EB-5 Visa Issuance in FY2024 through May

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Last week, the State Department published the monthly visa issuance statistics for May 2024, showing that 1,222 EB-5 visas were issued via consular processing in that month alone, the second highest monthly visa issuance volume so far in FY2024 (Oct. 1, 2023 – May 31, 2024, or FYTD 2024).[1] Overall, a total of 7,173 EB-5 visas have been issued by the Department of State (DOS) during FYTD 2024 and more than 1,990 EB-5 visa numbers were used via adjustment of status at USCIS, all under the Unreserved category.[2] That is, at least 64.7% (or 9,160 visas) of total Unreserved EB-5 visas available in FY2024 has been used through May 2024, largely thanks to the increased productivity of visa processing at the consular offices in Guangzhou and Ho Chi Minh City, and the faster adjudication of I-485 adjustment of status applications at USCIS.

EB-5 applicants from China and Vietnam constitute the largest investor groups to have received the most EB-5 visas in FY2024, accounting for 61% and 19%, respectively, of the total visa issuance so far in the current fiscal year. Moreover, more than 58% of the EB-5 visas were processed at the U.S. Consular Office in Guangzhou, while the Ho Chi Minh City Consular Office handled over 19% of the visa issuance in FYTD 2024.

EB-5 Visa Issuance in FY2024 (Consular Processing Only)

Between October 1, 2023, and May 31, 2024 (FYTD 2024), a total of 7,173 EB-5 visas were issued via consular processing, marking a 42% year-over-year growth compared to the same period in FY2023. As Figure 1 below illustrates, the monthly visa issuance in May reached the second-highest level of FY2024, with 1,222 Unreserved EB-5 visas processed in a single month.

All EB-5 visas issued via consular processing in FYTD 2024 were issued to applicants under the Unreserved category. However, according to Dr. Hanley, DOS’s data scientist, more than 17 EB-5 visa numbers under the Reserved categories have been used in FY2024 via adjustment of status at USCIS (as of May 16, 2024), and the first EB-5 visa under the Rural Area category will soon be issued at the Consular Office in Guangzhou.[3]


Unreserved EB-5 Waitlist, Visa Availability and FYTD Visa Issuance

Based on the data shared by the DOS, as of May 16, 2024, there were over 38,900 EB-5 applicants registered at the National Visa Center (NVC) awaiting an Unreserved EB-5 visa. With nearly 14,170 EB-5 visas available under the Unreserved category in FY2024, visa processing plays a crucial role in reducing the current backlog for pre-RIA EB-5 investors. Data from the DOS indicates that EB-5 visa number usage via both consular processing and adjustment of status has been improving in FY2024. Overall, 9,166 EB-5 visa numbers (or 64.7% of total visa availability) have been used in FYTD 2024. If all of the Unreserved visa numbers available in FY2024 are fully used by the end of this fiscal year, the current waitlist at the NVC could be reduced by 36%.

With only four months left in FY2024 and approximately 5,000 Unreserved visas still available, the DOS and USCIS need to use, on average, 1,250 EB-5 visa numbers per month to fully utilize all the Unreserved visas in this fiscal year. However, only 1,145 EB-5 visas were processed on average per month during the first eight months of FY2024. This means that both agencies must further increase their productivity in processing EB-5 visas and adjudicating I-485 applications during the remainder of FY2024.


Country-Specific EB-5 Visa Issuance Trends

Applicants from China, Vietnam, India, Taiwan, and South Korea continue to represent the largest investor groups receiving EB-5 visas in FY2024, collectively accounting for nearly 92% of all EB-5 visa issuances in the first eight months of the current fiscal year. Notably, over 61% of the EB-5 visas issued FYTD 2024 were obtained by Chinese applicants, with nearly 4,200 EB-5 visas processed at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China.


CHINA: During the first eight months of FY2024, nearly 4,400 EB-5 visas were issued to Chinese applicants, accounting for 61% of the total EB-5 visa issuance in FYTD 2024, with a year-over-year growth of 40%. The U.S. Consular Office in Guangzhou, China, continues to play a crucial role in clearing the EB-5 visa backlog of pre-RIA applicants. This Post issued 4,188 EB-5 visas so far in FY2024, marking a 35% year-over-year growth in EB-5 visa processing productivity.


INDIA: During the first eight months of FY2024, 512 EB-5 visas were issued to Indian applicants via consular processing, representing a 22% decline year over year. After a surge in visa processing in December 2023, the monthly visa issuance at the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai, India, showed a decline in productivity, processing only 50-60 visas per month and issuing only 4 EB-5 visas in May (see Table 2). However, considering that a relatively high percentage of Indian EB-5 investors obtain their green cards through adjustment of status (AOS) with USCIS, a lower number of EB-5 visa issuances via consular processing so far in FY2024 may not necessarily indicate an overall low EB-5 visa usage among Indian applicants due to the lack of AOS data.

Data from the DOS also indicates that only 392 EB-5 visas issued to Indian applicants were processed at the Mumbai Consular Office, suggesting that 120 Indian applicants (or 23%) who received their EB-5 visas in FY2024 reside outside India.


VIETNAM: During the first eight months of FY2024, a total of 1,385 EB-5 visas were issued to Vietnamese applicants, accounting for 19% of the worldwide EB-5 visa issuance in FYTD 2024. However, the overall EB-5 visa issuance data for Vietnam could be skewed because 61% of all visa usage (or 844 visas) occurred in October 2023 alone.

It’s important to note that currently, Vietnam is not subject to a cut-off date for EB-5 visas across all categories. It is unlikely that Vietnamese EB-5 applicants will face a final action date in the near future, despite accounting for more than 19% of the worldwide EB-5 visa issuance FYTD.


REST OF THE WORLD: Applicants from Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong constituted the 4th, 5th, and 6th largest investor groups to receive EB-5 visas during the first eight months of FY2024, with 211, 108, and 65 EB-5 visas issued to applicants from these respective countries of chargeability. The U.S. Consular Offices in Taipei, Hong Kong, Montreal, and Seoul processed the most EB-5 visas outside of Ho Chi Minh City, Guangzhou, and Mumbai (see Figure 3 on page 4).

It’s worth noting that the Consular Office in Seoul, South Korea, exhibited increased productivity in issuing EB-5 visas between April and May. The office processed few EB-5 cases in the first half of FY2024 but saw a relatively significant increase in the second half of the fiscal year, issuing more than 70 EB-5 visas in April and May (see below).

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EB-5 Visa Data Dashboard

Explore the latest trends and statistics on EB-5 visa usage by visiting IIUSA’s EB-5 Visa Data Dashboard at: https://iiusa.org/eb5-visa-data-dashboard/


[1] See DOS website for more details: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-statistics/immigrant-visa-statistics/monthly-immigrant-visa-issuances.html

[2] Insight from the State Department: 10 Kye Takeaways on the Latest EB-5 Data and Visa Processing from the 2024 IIUSA EB-5 Industry Forum: https://iiusa.org/blog/insights-from-the-state-department-10-key-takeaways-on-the-latest-eb-5-data-and-visa-processing-from-the-2024-iiusa-eb-5-industry-forum/

[3] See footnote 2.


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