Two things must occur for an EB-5 investor to move forward in the process toward conditional permanent residency. 1) The I-526 petition must be approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and 2) the filing date (“Priority Date”) of the approved I-526 petition must be earlier than the applicable cut-off-dates (whether it is “Final Action Dates” or “Dates of Filing”) published by the Department of State (DOS).
In May 2015, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced a cut-off date for Mainland Chinese-born EB-5 applications for the first time in Program history. Since that time the disparity in processing times between EB-5 investors from China and all other chargeable countries have steadily increased.
Since January of this year, the stalled forward movement of the EB-5 Visa Bulletin has resulted in a growing difference between the waiting period of EB-5 investors from mainland China an investors from other countries.
Currently, the average waiting time for Mainland China born applicants is at 30 months while the average waiting time for investors from other countries is just under 17 months.