There are a lot of numbers and statistics thrown around when it comes to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program. This article seeks to help cut through the noise and provide you with the important numbers to remember as well as key data points to keep in mind. It could help you decide if this visa process is the right undertaking for your situation as well as provide some important details to give your petition the edge against the rising competition for a limited number of annual petition approvals.
Important Numbers to Remember
- $1,000,000 – minimum investment total in a U.S. business for applicants.
- $500,000 – minimum investment total if U.S. business is located in targeted employment area or regional center.
- 10,000 petitions – maximum number of EB-5 visa approvals allowed by law annually.
- 10 jobs – minimum number of full-time domestic U.S. employees that this investment will create.
Form I-526 Petitions at All-Time High
As recently as 2009, demand for the Immigrant Investor program was limited as only a little over 1,000 Form I-526 petitions were received that year with just 514 pending. In the eight years since, petitions have increased significantly to over 14,000 Form I-526 petitions and over 20,000 pending in 2016. As you can see, competition for EB-5 visas is extremely high now as demand has now exceeded the maximum threshold allowed under U.S. law. (Data provided by USCIS report on I-526 petitions.)
|Year||Number of Petitions* Received||Number of Petitions Approved||Number of Petitions Denied||Number of Petitions Pending|
Permanent Green Card Applicants Also High Competition
The following data from the USCIS report on I-829 petitions shows that nine out of every ten I-829 petitions have been approved within the past decade. The total petitions received in 2008 (391) were just 10 percent of the total received in 2016 (3,474 petitions).
|Fiscal Year||Petitions Received||Petitions Approved||Petitions Denied||Percentage Approved|
Regional Center Statistics
By law, Regional Center investors are allotted 3,000 of the 10,000 annual EB-5 visa approvals. There are Regional Centers in 34 states, with 90 in total approved in the U.S. About 90 percent of Form I-516 petitions are filed each year by Regional Center-affiliated investors. Currently, there are 70 Regional Center Proposals pending with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The standard Regional Center Proposals processing time is about four months.