MAY 2022 VISA BULLETIN: NEW subCATEGORIES and major changes in eb-5 visa number allocation

The U.S. Department of State has published the monthly Visa Bulletin for May 2022.

As predicted by Mr. Charlie Oppenheim during IIUSA’s 2022 EB-5 Industry Forum earlier this week, three (3) new subcategories are now added within the EB-5 portion on the May Visa Bulletin to account for set-aside visa numbers under the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act that was enacted on March 15, 2022.

Effectively immediately for the month of April, regardless the visa applicant’s country of birth, there is no cut-off date for documentarily qualified EB-5 applicants who invested through any of the following EB-5 projects:

  • a direct EB-5 project,
  • a project located in a rural area,
  • a project located in a high unemployment area, or
  • an infrastructure project.

As of visa applicants who are associated with a regional center project outside the visa set-aside categories, the final action date for Chinese applicants is November 22, 2015, and the date for filing for applicants from China is December 15, 2015. There is not cut-off date for other EB-5 applicants from all other countries.

EB-5 FINAL ACTION DATES (CHART A)

The May Visa Bulletin revealed the following final action dates for EB-5 visa applicants (effectively immediately for the month of April):

  • Applicants associated with a direct EB-5 project:
    • All Countries: “Current”;
  • Applicants associated with an EB-5 project within the visa set-aside categories: (a project located in a rural area or in a high unemployment area, or an infrastructure project):  
    • All Countries: “Current”; 
  • All applicants under the above categories will be able to apply for their EB-5 visa as soon as they become documentarily qualified, without any delay.
  • Applicants associated with a regional center project outside the visa set-aside categories:
    • Mainland China: November 22, 2015;
    • All Countries: “Current.”

 

(Chart A on the May 2022 Visa Bulletin)

EB-5 DATES FOR FILING (CHART B)

In April and May, the dates for filing are “current” for all EB-5 applicants, except for the applicants who was born in mainland China and invested through a regional center project outside the visa set-aside categories (the date for filing of these applicants is December 15, 2015).

 

(Chart B on the May 2022 Visa Bulletin)

It’s important to note that, under the “concurrent filing” provision on the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, USCIS now accepts adjustment of status applicants from EB-5 investors with a approved or pending I-526 case, as long as the applicant’s priority date is on or earlier than the dates of filing, which is current for all country and December 15, 2015 for Chinese investors. See below for the update from USCIS:

For Employment-Based Preference Filings:
In April, we will accept adjustment of status applications based on approved or pending Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, including both regional center-based Form I-526 petitions filed on or before the sunset of the previous regional center program on June 30, 2021, and direct Form I-526 petitions. The exception to this is adjustment of status applications based on pending or approved Form I-526 petitions in the Fifth Regional Center (I5 and R5) category filed by Chinese mainland-born petitioners with priority dates on or after Dec. 15, 2015; these may not be filed because visa numbers are not currently available to these petitioners. 

ADDITIONAL NOTES ON THE MAY VISA BULLETIN

The following note is included on the May Visa Bulletin with regards to the major changes in the EB-5 visa number allocation under the new legislation:

D.  REAUTHORIZATION OF THE EMPLOYMENT-BASED FIFTH PREFERENCE I5 AND R5 REGIONAL CENTER VISA CATEGORIES

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, which reauthorizes and reforms the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program, was enacted on March 15, 2022. The Department of State has resumed processing visa applications based on approved Employment-Based Fifth Preference Regional Center petitions that were filed with USCIS on or before June 30, 2021. 

Chart A for Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Categories and Chart B Dates for Filing of Employment-Based Visa Applications were revised to reflect some of the new provisions outlined in the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, mainly the creation of two pools of visa numbers within the EB-5 category. One pool of numbers is ‘reserved’ for certain set-aside categories while the remaining available numbers remain ‘unreserved’. 

Chart A for Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Categories reflect final action dates for May that are effective immediately for the month of April. The Employment-Based Fifth Preference Unreserved (C5, T5, and all others) is Current for all countries; the Employment-Based Fifth Preference Unreserved (I5 and R5) categories are Current for all countries except China-mainland born, which is subject to a 22NOV15 final action date; and all set-aside categories are Current for all countries. It may become necessary to establish a China-mainland born final action date and application filing date for the C5 and T5 categories as early as June to keep number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2022 annual limits if sufficient demand materializes.

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