Monthly Archives: November 2012

Future EB-5 Cut Off Date for China

The US government recently announced that more than 7600 people received visas to the USA under the Employment Based Fifth Preference category (“EB-5”), in the period from October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012. There is an annual limit of 10,000 EB-5 visas.  More than 70% of all EB-5 visas are issued to people born in Mainland China.

With continued high demand for EB-5 visas, the US Department of State is predicting that the annual limit of 10,000 EB-5 visas will be reached sometime between April 1, 2013 and September 30, 2013. See http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_5803.html If the limit is reached, the US Department of State will establish a “Cut Off Date” for the EB-5 program for people born in Mainland China. This means that the US Department of State will issue visas first for those investors with the oldest cases, according to each investor’s “Priority Date.” An investor obtains a “Priority Date” once his or her Form I-526 Immigrant Visa Petition has been approved. The “Priority Date” is the date the investor’s Form I-526 Immigrant Visa Petition was filed. Investors born in Mainland China with older Priority Dates will be issued visas to immigrate to the USA faster than Investors born in Mainland China with more recent Priority Dates.

The EB-5 process includes three major steps:

Step 1: The EB-5 petition (filed on Form I-526)

Step 2: The EB-5 visa (filed on Form DS-230)

Step 3: The EB-5 green card renewal (filed on Form I-829)

If the US Department of State establishes a “Cut Off Date” for the EB-5 program for investors born in Mainland China, there will be no impact of the ability of such people to continue to file and receive approval for Step 1: I-526 petitions and Step 3: I-829 petitions. There is no limit on the number of EB-5 petitions (Step 1: Form I-526) and EB-5 green card renewals (Step 3: Form I-829) that may be filed or approved each year. Rather, the 10,000 annual limit is imposed on the number of Step 2: EB-5 visas that are issued each year.

We expect that the processing time for EB-5 petitions (Step 1: Form I-526) and EB-5 green card renewals (Step 3: Form I-829) will not change nor will any new requirements be imposed. We do expect that the processing time for EB-5 visas (Step 2: Form DS-230) may become longer, but no new requirements will be imposed. 

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Expanded US Visa Interview Waiver Program in India

As of November 19, 2012 American Consulates throughout India have expanded the Interview Waiver Program to include H-1B and L-1 renewals. Under the Interview Waiver Program for India, certain applicants for visa renewal may submit their applications for consideration for streamlined processing, including waiver of a personal interview.

 

Here are the visa categories eligible for the Interview Waiver Program for India

  • Temporary workers on H1-B visas
    • Temporary workers on Individual L1-A or Individual L1-B visas
    • Business/Tourism (B1 and/or B2);
    • Dependent (J2, H4, L2)
    • Students returning to attend the same school and same program
    • Transit (C) and/or Crew Member (D) – including C1/D.
    • Children applying before their 14th birthday traveling on any visa class
    • Applicants applying on or after their 80th birthday traveling on any visa class

 

Some additional notes on the Interview Waiver Program for India

 

  • The applicant must be a citizen or legal resident of India
  • The visa applicant must be renewing a visa that is still valid or that expired within the past 48 months
  • The renewal application must be for the same visa classification as the previous visa.
  • The previous visa must not carry the annotation “clearance received”
  • Even if the applicant meets all the above criteria, a US consular officer may still require an interview for any visa applicant in any category.
  • The applicant may still need to make an appointment for biometrics (fingerprint and photograph) collection
  • All applicants must submit all required fees and the DS-160 application form

 

For more details about procedures for submitting a renewal application, please contact our office or see

http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visarenew.asp

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