U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is changing how it processes EB-5 Visa petitions.
Starting March 31, 2020, USCIS says it is will prioritize petitions for individuals whose visas are currently available because the individuals happened to be from countries underrepresented in the US. Previous, EB-5 visas were processed on a “first-in, first-out” basis.
“Changing our approach from a first-in, first-out adjudication process to one that prioritizes petitions connected to individuals from countries where visas are currently available better aligns the EB-5 program with congressional intent and makes it more consistent with other USCIS operations,” said USCIS Deputy Director Mark Koumans.“
“[The new approach will allow] qualified EB-5 petitioners from traditionally underrepresented countries to have their petitions approved in a more timely fashion to receive consideration for a visa,” added Koumans.
The EB-5 Program, also known as Immigrant Investor Program, provides two-year conditional green cards to foreigners who can invest a minimum of $900,000 in areas within the US that have been identified by the government as having high rates of unemployment. Alternatively, foreigners can invest a minimum of $1.8 million in any part of the US, regardless of the area’s employment rate.