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China-Mainland Born EB-5 Category Oversubscribed in May; Philippines EB-3 Retrogresses


The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for May 2015 notes that heavy China-mainland born applicant demand has required the implementation of an employment fifth preference (EB-5) cut-off date of May 1, 2013, for investors from China to hold visa number use for that country within the maximum limit for FY 2015. 

The bulletin notes that future visa availability will depend on a combination of demand for numbers being reported each month and the extent to which otherwise unused numbers may become available. An increase in visa demand by applicants with relatively early priority dates could make a retrogression of this cut-off date necessary before the end of the fiscal year. The Bulletin emphasizes that retrogression is not being predicted but cannot be ruled out. “It is extremely likely that this category will remain subject to a cut-off date indefinitely,” the Bulletin says.

The bulletin also reports that the cut-off date for the Philippines employment third (EB-3) preference has recently advanced very rapidly “in an effort to generate sufficient demand to fully utilize all available numbers.” The current rate of increase in demand has required the retrogression of this cut-off date for the month of May to July 1, 2007, in an attempt to hold number use within the annual limit for this preference category.

On April 13, 2015, the Visa Office attended the IIUSA 2015 EB-5 Regional Economic Advocacy Conference to address questions related to the implementation of a visa cutoff date for Chinese investors in the EB-5 visa category. Responses from the Visa Office to questions are available at http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/VO%20Attends%20IIUSA%20EB5%20Conference.pdf.

The Visa Bulletin for May 2015 is available at http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin/2015/visa-bulletin-for-may-2015.html.

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