The United States Department of State (DoS) recently published its October Visa Bulletin. The Bulletin states that in the fiscal year of 2021, there will be 261,500 immigrant visas that will be available. The EB-5 program of the USA has a quota within this number. The preestablished quota of the program is 7.1% of the total number of visas made available. So, in the fiscal year of 2021, 18,500 visas will be available within the EB-5. This number is an all-time-highest for the program. The usual number of available visas within the EB-5 was 10,000.
Covid-19 Caused Visa Quotas to Shift
In the fiscal year of 2020, many visas were left unused because of Covid-19. The pandemic caused bureaucratic steps to come to a deadlock. Governmental offices got closed and immigration processes came to a halt. Since many applications fell through, a portion of the quota was left unused. DoS, in response, increased the quota for the fiscal year of 2021. According to the numbers disclosed in the Bulletin, the EB-5 will be allocated 18,500 visas in 2021. This number will be a new record for the program.
China, India, and Vietnam will Take Advantage of the Increased Quotas
The customary visa amount for each immigrant group is set at 7%. This ratio equals around 700 visas per year. For countries like China, India, and Vietnam, this number is far too restricting. Already oversubscribing each year, immigrants of these countries had a very narrow window during Covid-19.
Now that the quotas are transferred into 2021, the new fiscal year has 85% larger quotas. It means that 600 additional spots will be available for Chinese, Indian, and Vietnamese immigrants separately. A Milwaukee-based company, FirstPathway Partners remarks that China, India, and Vietnam “each stand to gain approximately an additional 600 visas over a typical year. In addition, China which has most of the oldest pending priority dates, could take advantage of a larger than usual pool of leftover visas. If the rest of the world uses 6,000 to 8,000 visas, China could stand to gain over 10,000 visas!”
The Fiscal Year of 2021 May Affect 2022’s Quotas
It is speculated that the performance of the increased quota will act as a determinant for the quotas of 2022. If additional visas are used in their entirety, it will reduce the waiting times for countries in retrogression considerably. As a result, it may lead to increased quotas for the fiscal year of 2022.