Author: Julia Yong-hee Park
Earlier this month, the Department of State released a breakdown of the EB-5 visa usage year-to-date for FY2015. According to the report, between October 2014 and April 2015, a total of 7,699 EB-5 visas were issued to foreign investors and their qualified dependents (i.e. spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21). Here is the information in an easy-to-read chart:
Let’s first clarify a couple of point here. First, EB-5 projects are divided into Direct EB-5 Projects and Regional Center Projects depending on the type of investment. It is a common misconception that Regional Center projects have a minimum investment of $500,000 and Direct projects require a $1 million investment. In fact, the minimum investment amount is determined by the location of the project. (However, because there are no $1 million Regional Center projects on the market, it is easy to see where that misconception comes from.)
Next, it is important to understand that the number of EB-5 visas issued are more than the actual number of I-526 conditional greencard applications filed. This is because one I-526 petition investor will often have a spouse and children.
The most interesting data point in this chart is that Vietnam has risen to the number 2 spot which has traditionally been held by South Korea.