EB-5 visa issuances in China (the source of most immigrant investors) dropped sharply between June and July of this year, according to the most recent data from the Department of State. It was yet another sign of the decreasing interest in the program. Meanwhile, in a separate action, the U.S. Senate earlier refused to re-authorize a major portion of the program that dealt with regional centers, effective June 30.
In June, according to the Visa Office, it issued 408 EB-5-related visas to Mainland-born Chinese; in July that number fell to 129, a decrease of nearly 70 percent. The State Department maintains separate data systems for those born on the Mainland, and those born in Taiwan; there are a lot more of the former than the latter.
More specifically, the number of visas issued in China for the controversial regional center part of the program, which has been rife with corruption and cheating, fell from 407 to one (1) from June to July; I would love to know the rationale for issuing that one July visa. Meanwhile, the number of visas for the non-controversial direct investment part of the program, where an alien indicates that he or she will actually run a business in the U.S., not just write a check, rose from one in China in June to 127 in July.
At that monthly rate of 128, there would be 1,536 visas issued a year, a fraction of the 10,000 visas that are allowed worldwide.
What happens to the unused visas in this program? Does that actually reduce the number of new green card holders coming to the States? Well, no, there is an intricate maneuver created by the Open-Borders types decades ago that says unused visas in the numerically limited employment-based migration program are to be re-assigned to other categories of employment-based (EB) immigrants.
So what we are getting is an interesting transfer (which the EB-5 industry never, never mentions) and that is the visas not used for those who are only qualified by their wealth in EB-5 are replaced by the most deserving of would-be immigrants, the highly educated aliens who qualify in EB-1 or EB-2, categories for priority workers (EB-1), including those of “extraordinary ability”, and those in (EB-2) “professionals with advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability”.
So we are replacing, in some small measure, a group of merely rich aliens with the richly qualified, a good thing.
In order to obtain these statistics, one must use the State Department’s set of visa classes, in which an I 5, which looks a lot like a 15, is for a regional center investor, for example, instead of visa codes, which are part of another departmental system.