New Direct Investments Through the EB-5 Program Drop to New Low in May

But State starts to clear up backlogs of old regional center petitions

By David North on July 20, 2022

New investments of the direct kind in the EB-5 program (always a minor part of that operation) dropped from 37 in April to 23 in May, according to recently released visa statistics from the State Department.

On the other hand — and this does not reflect new investments as the 23 do — the department has started to clear up a long backlog of EB-5 regional center visa petitions, presumably related to the re-authorization of that program by Congress earlier in the spring. Many EB-5 regional center visas were put on hold until the congressional action.

Both the direct and the regional center sub-programs allow aliens (without other qualifications) to buy a family-sized set of green cards if they put a stipulated amount of money in a DHS-approved investment. The smaller part of the program, dealing with direct investments, has a permanent legislative authorization; the larger part, dealing with investments pooled by regional centers, has always had a temporary authorization; that ran out on June 30, 2021, and was not revived until about nine months later. For decades the required minimum investment was $500,000; Congress raised that to $800,000 earlier this year.

The new direct investment visas went to India (15), China (5), and Iran (3).

The regional center visas totaled 387 for the month; the leading nations were China (211), Taiwan (which is counted separately, 50), and India and Vietnam (33 each). The rest of the world accounted for 60 visas.