In the June 2021 Visa Bulletin, the Chinese final action date advanced for the first time in several months. It was only a three-week jump, but that nonetheless catalyzed celebrations across the EB-5 investment world. Good news rarely comes from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)—indeed, the celebrations in June were not because of a monumental move in the Chinese final action but rather the absence of more bad news and stagnation. The advancement was even more surprising given the grim predictions that had come out about the Chinese final action date, forecasting stagnation through the rest of FY2021.
The trend of forward momentum for the Chinese final action date has continued in the July 2021 Visa Bulletin, and hopefully it will continue beyond that as well. There is certainly celebration surrounding July’s Visa Bulletin as well—but this time, it’s not directed at China. This time, USCIS has sent shockwaves through the EB5 investment community with a record-breaking jump forward for Vietnam’s final action date.
Two years—that’s how much the Vietnamese final action date has moved ahead by. Well, technically, it’s two weeks shy of two years, but with such a monumental occasion in the EB-5 world, it’s hardly the time to be splitting hairs. In the June 2021 Visa Bulletin, the final action date for EB-5 investment participants from Vietnam was April 15, 2018, but in the July 2021 Visa Bulletin, that figure has jumped all the way to April 1, 2020. And the good news doesn’t stop there: predictions have the Vietnamese final action date achieving “current” status by September 2021.
Final Action Dates in the July 2021 Visa Bulletin
The new final action date for Vietnamese EB5 investment participants is clear to see in the final column of the EB-5 row in Chart A of the July 2021 Visa Bulletin. “01APR20”—in other words, April 1, 2020—is a figure so astonishing that Vietnamese investors can hardly believe it. Almost two years’ worth of investors are now free to receive their conditional permanent resident status and resettle in the United States. And the remaining Vietnamese investors may not have much longer to wait, if the U.S. Department of State’s predictions are anything to go by.
Those who have made EB5 investments from China were presented with good news in the July 2021 edition of the Visa Bulletin as well. This time, a two-month jump has taken the Chinese final action date from September 15, 2015, to November 8, 2015. This is worth celebrating, certainly. The increasing momentum hopefully signals a brighter future for Chinese investors stuck in the EB-5 backlog.
Those who have made an EB-5 investment through a regional center may wonder why all the regional center values are simply “U.” “U” stands for “unauthorized,” and though the EB-5 Regional Center Program was authorized as of the publication of the Visa Bulletin, it may not be in July 2021. The popular program faces a sunset date of June 30, 2021, and EB-5 stakeholders are scrambling to procure the urgent reform the EB-5 program needs to be reauthorized. The fateful date will be here in less than two weeks, and the entire EB-5 community is watching the developments anxiously. In all likelihood, the EB-5 Regional Center Program will not expire, at least not permanently—it’s simply too valuable to the U.S. government. But it may expire temporarily, resulting in even more delays for EB-5 investors.
Dates for Filing in the July 2021 Visa Bulletin
The final action dates aren’t all that Chinese EB-5 investors have to keep an eye on. China is the only country subject to a date for filing, which leaves countless Chinese applicants unable to even submit their petition for a U.S. green card, despite I-526 petition approval for their eligible EB5 investment. Since March 2020, the Chinese date for filing has remained at December 15, 2015, but progression may finally be in the near future. With the Chinese final action date finally showing forward momentum, the date for filing will inevitably follow. It’s just a question of how long the lag is.
Oddly enough, Chart B doesn’t feature “U”s for the regional center values. Instead, the dates for filing are the same as those in the direct EB-5 investment row, as they normally are. Most likely, this is just a mistake. But hopefully, it’s a sign that the EB-5 Regional Center Program won’t expire at the end of June 2021.