EB-5's Death Cycle: Three Gloomy Signs for the Program

By David North on December 6, 2021

On December 2, Congress passed another one of those continuing resolutions (CR), which keep the government funded; in years past, these have been vehicles for continuing the main provisions of the EB-5 program, but this time, again, there was no language continuing or reviving EB-5.

Congress failed to extend the regional center (investment pooling) aspect of EB-5 effective June 30, 2021; that has been a dead letter for more than five months now.

The non-revival in the CR was just one of three gloomy signs for the program in recent days.

Another grim indicator was in the State Department’s monthly report on the issuance of visas for the remaining part of the program, which calls for direct (unpooled) investments of $500,000 or more in the U.S. We have been following the numbers of direct investment visas issued for makers of these investments in the five nations that have historically provided the largest numbers of such visa applicants (China, Great Britain, India, Pakistan, and Vietnam.) Bear in mind that the worldwide ceiling is nearly 10,000 a year.

This is what we found for October and for the prior three months:

EB-5 Direct Investment Visas Issued in Selected Nations, Four Months in 2021

Nation July August September October
China 127 42 20 9
Great Britain 0 0 0 0
India 0 0 0 0
Pakistan 0 0 0 0
Vietnam 0 0 0 0
Totals 127 42 20 9

Source: Calculated by CIS from “Monthly Immigrant Visa Issuance Statistics”, U.S. State Department.

If the issuances for the first four months of the fiscal year were to be duplicated in the whole year, there would be 594 for the year, or a reduction of about 94 percent from the ceiling. If the average rate for the 12 months were to be based on the nine in October, the reduction in the visa issuances would be about 99 percent.

The third set of bad news for the program is the ever-flowing headlines, picked up by Law360 and local media, about the most recent developments in EB-5 scandals of the past, usually related to U.S.-based conspirators misusing aliens’ money, usually China-based. If the bad guys would simply settle, instead of having their lawyers fight a series of rear-guard actions, we would not see articles like: “Wash. Judge Says Co. In EB-5 Fraud Suit Needs Supervision” (November 23) and “Chinese Investors Win $37M In Fla. Hotel EB-5 Row” (November 19).