The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, May 2020 Visa Bulletin (View PDF) is now available.
FINAL ACTION DATES (CHART A)
The Visa Bulletin revealed the following final action dates for EB-5 visa applicants from the countries that are experiencing visa backlog:
- China: July 1, 2015 (advanced 1.5 months from the April Bulletin);
- India: October 1, 2019 (advanced 9 months from the April Bulletin);
- Vietnam: April 1, 2017 (advanced 1.5 months from the April Bulletin)
While the EB-5 final action dates for applicants from China or Vietnam had a moderate advancement of 1.5 months between April and May, we saw the final action date for Indian EB-5 applicants advanced significantly to October 1, 2019 on the May Visa Bulletin – an advancement of 9 months.
As of May 1, 2020 Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian investors who filed their I-526 petitions on or before the new cutoff dates above will be eligible to schedule interviews with Department of State Consular offices and be issued conditional immigration visas to enter the U.S. or apply for adjustment of status if they are already in the U.S. All other countries remain current.
DATES FOR FILING (CHART B)
The dates for filing of the EB-5 visa category on the May Visa Bulletin remain unchanged from the April Visa Bulletin.
Earlier this year, USCIS announced that beginning March 31, 2020, the agency will begin adjudicating pending I-526 petitions on the basis of visa availability based on Chart B (“Dates for Filing”) rather than a first-in-first-out approach.
As of May 1, 2020, the dates for filing for EB-5 visa applicants from all countries except for China remain as “current.” It means that USCIS will continue processing the I-526 petitions filed by EB-5 investors from all countries (except for mainland China) in a higher priority under the new adjudication process because of the current availability of EB-5 visas to these petitioners.
COVID-19 & VISA PROCESSING
The Department of State issued the following notice regarding the recent proclamation that suspends entry of certain types of immigrants who present risk to the U.S. labor market during the COVID-19 outbreak:
On Wednesday, April 22, President Trump signed a proclamation suspending entry into the United States of certain immigrants who present risk to the U.S. labor market during the economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak. The proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 23 and expires in 60 days, unless continued by the President.
U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and those holding valid immigrant visas on the effective date of the Proclamation, are not subject to the proclamation. The Proclamation is not retroactive. No valid visas will be revoked under this Proclamation. The proclamation provides exceptions to its restrictions for certain categories of immigrants, including: certain healthcare professionals, aliens seeking to enter the United States pursuant to an EB-5 investor visa, spouses and children (categories IR2, CR2, IR3, IH3, IR4, IH4) of U.S. citizens, members of the United States Armed Forces and any spouse and children of a member of the United States Armed Forces, and aliens seeking to enter the United States pursuant to an Afghan and Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa. Please refer to the proclamation for a full list of exceptions. Routine visas services have been suspended at U.S. posts worldwide, but as resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide emergency and mission critical visa services for applicants who may be eligible for an exception under this presidential proclamation.
While visas services are still under suspension at the U.S. consulate offices worldwide, USCIS will re-open its offices on or after June 4 (see USCIS notice here).