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IIUSA Forum Oppenheim Chief of Visa Control Estimates 8,600 More Visas in 2021November 25, 2020


Thousands More Visas Will Be Available in 2021 Compared to Normal 10,000 EB-5 Visas.

Chief of visas predicts more visas in 2021 Thursday, while attending the 2020 IIUSA (Invest in the USA) Virtual Industry Forum, we had the privilege to hear from Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of Visa Control and Reporting Division at U.S. Department of State. Mr. Oppenheim continues to be a long-standing, and much appreciated guest at numerous EB-5 industry events, bringing valuable insight into the visa statistics.

Mr. Oppenheim shared highlights of the current state of the EB-5 program, as well as predictions for the future. Attendees of the IIUSA Virtual EB-5 Industry Forum were reminded that for the Fiscal Year of 2021, there are approximately 18,600 visas available to EB-5 participants, compared with the normal allocation of approximately 10,000 visas.

This is great news for the EB-5 industry, which has experienced skyrocketing demand in the program over the past 10 years. This means that anyone from a country that has been affected by retrogression may see some relief in visa backlogs.

In past stakeholder events, the information from Mr. Oppenheim that received the most discussion was the answer that forecasted, “How long will it take an individual from a given country to receive a visa that files their petition today?” This year, with the global pandemic, it is slightly harder for Mr. Oppenheim and the Department of State to derive since certain consulates are closed for processing. The recently published USCIS Quarterly Form Status Report reflects that not only has processing of visas been impacted by the pandemic, but also during the second and third quarters of FY 2020 only 61 I-526 petitions were filed.

I-526 Petitions

This fact is overlaid by the statistic showing the I-526 petition denial rate over the same time period is approaching 40%. Therefore, the wait times for countries experiencing retrogression should start to diminish dramatically due to the EB-5 category having nearly double the typical annual allocation of visas in 2021, in addition to the reduced rate at which investors have subscribed in 2020.

However, these factors that should ultimately lead to dramatically reduced visa wait times for EB-5 participants will be heavily reliant on consulates remaining open and being able to issue visas.

Although I-526 denial rates in the EB-5 industry have grown over the last year to over 28% from roughly 10% in 2015, CMB Regional Centers continues to have a 100% project approval rate. Not all regional centers have the same track record as CMB, as other regional centers continue to see project denials due to fraud, mismanagement, or poor planning; unfortunately this only hurts the investors and their families.

While the reason for a denial may be an individual issue such as source of funds, or a project denial relating to the business plan, job creation, TEA, etc., the lesson is that investor due diligence is of utmost importance and the track record of the regional center and immigration attorney are critical.

EB-5 Success with CMB Regional Centers

With our 100% project approval rate, CMB has been able to assist nearly 5,000 investor families in achieving an I-526 petition approval, of which more than 3,000 families have already received their conditional visas. Putting our clients’ immigration goals in front of our own has always been the main focus for CMB, which should be the same for any regional center in the EB-5 industry.

If you would like to learn more about the EB-5 Investor Visa, or CMB’s current EB-5 offerings, please contact us here to schedule a free initial consultation with a CMB Investor Relations Manager.

CMB engages Prevail Capital, LLC, a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and a member of FINRA and SIPC, to be the administrative placement agent for all CMB EB-5 partnerships.
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