China EB-5 Quota Retrogression Announced By H. Ronald Klasko


August 26, 2014

On Saturday, August 23, 2014, the Department of State announced for the first time ever that themaximum number of EB-5 visas which may be made available for use by individuals born in mainland China had been reached for Fiscal Year 2014. Although the announcement carries potentially significant implications for current and prospective mainland-born Chinese EB-5 investors, it nevertheless must be placed into context.

First, the quota unavailability only applies until September 30. On October 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year, EB-5 numbers will again be available. However, as we have indicated in our two recent blogs, we anticipate a much longer quota backlog, most likely beginning in the 2nd or 3rd quarter of the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2014. When that occurs, we anticipate the waiting list could exceed two years.

Second, the unavailability of EB-5 visas for the remainder of this fiscal year does not impact mainland-born Chinese EB-5 applicants whose petitions have been approved and who have already been scheduled for a visa interview at an overseas post based on the “Current” priority date for August and September 2014. These individuals have been allotted visa numbers for their potential use. No additional immigrant visas will be made available to either so-called “comeback” applicants – that is, individuals who had been interviewed by a consular officer and who were missing one or more documents and asked to return – or to individuals first requesting consular interviews.

Third, USCIS offices may continue accepting, processing and approving EB-5 petitions filed by Chinese applicants. Upon approval, these petitions will be held in the Visa Office’s “Pending Demand” file until October 1, 2014 (the commencement of Fiscal Year 2015). At that time, all pending eligible cases will be automatically authorized from the “Pending Demand” files under the Fiscal Year 2015 annual numerical limitation.

It is important to note two key limitations of the DOS’s announcement:

- It does not affect the adjudication of I-526 and I-829 Petitions by USCIS;

- It does not affect the processing or present availability of immigrant visas for individuals not born in China.

For more information on the impact of EB-5 quota retrogression for China, including the impact on children who reach the age of 21, please read our two blogs on this subject: “FAQs on EB-5 Quota Backlog” and “Chinese EB-5 Quota Retrogression – Part 2.”

For the latest information, visit our EB-5 Resource Center at

Reprinted with permission.

About The Author

Ronald Klasko H. Ronald Klasko is recognized by businesses, universities, hospitals, scholars, investors and other lawyers as one of the country’s leading immigration lawyers. A founding member of Klasko, Rulon, Stock & Seltzer, LLP and its Managing Partner, he has practiced immigration law exclusively over three decades. Under his leadership, the firm was chosen with five other firms by Chambers Global in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 as the top U.S. business, hospital and university immigration law firm. Ron, himself, was named as the world’s most respected corporate immigration lawyer (The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers 2007 and 2008) and one of the country’s top immigration lawyers by clients and other immigration lawyers who said he is “revered for coming up with unique arguments that can save a client” (Chambers Global). A former National President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Ron served as General Counsel of that organization for three Presidents and has been a member of its Board of Governors since 1980. He has served as National Chair of AILA’s U.S. Department of Labor Liaison Committee and Business Immigration Committee, and he served as National Chair of that organization’s INS General Counsel Liaison Committee, Department of Labor Liaison Committee, and the National Task Forces on Labor Certifications, H-1 visas, L-1 visas and Employer Sanctions. He presently serves as Chair of the EB-5 Committee.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.