More Countries (including India) soon to face EB-5 Visa Retrogression


April 23, 2018, at the IIUSA Annual Conference in Washington DC, Charlie Oppenheim, Chief, Visa Controls Office at the US Department of State delivered the breaking news that more countries will face final action dates, leading to visa retrogression. These countries include: India, Brazil, Taiwan, South Korea – all popular countries for the EB-5 visa.

What is a Final Action Date? A final action date (FAD) marks the end of a “current visa” status for a country, indicating a backlog. It does not affect the project. Most countries do not have a FAD as it is current. Countries with a FAD means that an investor is only eligible for the green card (adjustment of status or consular processing) if the priority date is available.


Due to the dramatic increase in demand for EB-5 visas, the State Department will impose a FAD for India no later than June 2019 – it could well be earlier. Once a FAD has been imposed, Indian nationals will likely wait 5 years for a visa.

Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan will also have a FAD at some point in the Summer 2019.

For China and Vietnam:

In June or July of 2018, the FAD for these two countries will move to August 1, 2014 and hold

until September 2018. As of September 2018, the date could potentially move forward to August 8, 2014, and by October 2018, China will move to August 15, 2014 or August 8, 2014 if the date does not move forward for September 2018

Vietnam will not be current for fiscal year 2019. The new FAD will be January 1, 2016 for the October 2018 filings.

From November 2018 through March 2019, the dates will move forward one month and hold for a month. By May 2019, Vietnam will be subject to China’s FAD.

September 2019, the FAD for China, Vietnam, India, Brazil, South Korea, and Taiwan will be October 15, 2014

Unused Visas:

Unused visas are provided according to priority dates –the country does not matter. However, the unused visas will mostly likely go to Chinese investors as their priority dates will likely be earlier than those from other countries.

Percentage of Principal applicants per country (without dependents)

China – 34.9%

Brazil – 30.4 %

India – 27.6 %

S. Korea – 35.6%

Taiwan – 34.4%

Vietnam – 36%

India has seen sharp increases in dependents over other countries, due to marriages or having children during the application process. For 3 rd Preference category, dependents increased from 1.4 to 2.5.

About The Author

Mona Shah, ESQ. UK born, Mona, a dual licensed attorney, was formerly a Government Prosecutor with the British Crown Prosecution Service. Mona has extensive knowledge of all facets of U.S. immigration law; her expertise ranges from specialist business law to complicated, multi-issue federal deportation litigation before the US Courts of Appeal. Recognized as an industry leader in EB-5, Mona has received many accolades for her work, including voted top 25 EB-5 attorneys in the US 3 years in a row; Top Lawyer by Who’s Who International, ‘Top Attorney of North America’ Mona, an adjunct professor at Baruch College, CUNY University, has authored numerous articles, a published book for investors, co-edited EB-5 Gateway (BLS) and is a recommended author with Lexis Practice Advisor. Mona is regularly invited to speak worldwide, has been interviewed by mainstream news channels, including Fox Business News, Al Jazeera and quoted in major newspapers, including the New York Times.

Rebecca S. Singh, Esq. is an experienced attorney with Mona Shah & Associates Global. As an advanced EB-5 practitioner, with a litigation background, Rebecca works with project developers, analyzing, crafting and preparing project documents for initial regional center designations, including hypothetical or exemplar projects, as well as actual project or amendment filings. In addition, Rebecca handles direct EB-5 project petitions, both pooled investments and individual entrepreneurs, and I-829 petitions. Rebecca is well versed in USCIS compliance. Rebecca is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association, Invest in the USA, American Bar Association, and South Asian Bar Association of New York. She speaks English and basic Spanish.

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