2015美国移民签证统计与2016排期预测 | EB-5数据

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10月22日,在IIUSA的达拉斯大会上,国务院签证办公室主任 - Charles Oppenheim公布了2015财年(2014年10月1日 - 2015年9月30日)的EB-5签证发放数据,并做出对于2016财年(2015年10月1日 - 2016年9月30日)的签证排期预测,今天就来看下Bernard Wolfsdorf律师就此的总结文章。

2016

EB-5签证以及中国申请人排期:我从美国国务院移民签证办公室主任查理奥本那获悉的十件事情

2015年10月22日,奥本先生在达拉斯举办的投资美国会议上发布了EB-5相关的重要信息,包括中国申请人排期时间的预测。

2015年5月,国务院发布了中国EB-5类签证的截至时间为2013年5月,给中国出生的申请人设置了2年排期时间。特别重要的是,在过去的2015年5月到2015年11月的7个月中,排期时间没有倒退,在过去7次更新的移民签证公告板中保持每月按月前进的速度。可喜的是,这个趋势将在2016财年的第一个季度(2015年10月到2015年12月)继续保持,但会在2016年财年第二个季度 (2016年1月到2016年3月)稍微放缓。

有人可能注意到奥本先生没有作出对2016年3月的签证公告版的预测。尽管在2015年9月30日EB-5项目到期日(后又被延长10周到2015年12月11日)之前有一波史无前例的申请量增长。

奥本先生讲话的要点:

1. 最终批准日期(或中国EB-5申请的截至日)在2015年12月会是2013年12月。

2. 预测2016年1月的中国EB-5申请的最终批准日期将会是2014年1月8日。

3. 预测2016年2月的中国EB-5申请的最终批准日期将是2014年1月15日。值得注意的是,与2016年1月前进三个月相比,2月的前进速度只有1星期,这是因为考虑中国春节的工作量变化。世界其他国家与地区目前没有在最终批准日期上没有限制。

4. 更重要的是,奥本先生解释了根据目前的签证需求量,2016财年的最后一天,也就是2016年9月,对于中国EB-5申请最终批准日期的最好的情况是2014年5月,最坏的情况是2014年4月。当然有可能是2014年4月1日。2016年夏天的几个月的签证排期都有可能冻结在这个日期,以控制2016财政年度的签证颁发数量。

5. 这意味着,中国出生的申请人的排期时间将在未来几个月维持在两年左右,在2016年财年结束时 (2016年9月30日)增至约两年半。由于大多数情况下,从申请到安排面试至少需要18个月左右,这意味着对2016年财政年度配额限制给中国申请人造成的额外等待时间只有6-12个月。几乎没有因为EB- 5申请的激增变得很糟糕( USCIS IPO平均审核时间目前是13.8个月,安排在广州面谈另需4-5个月) 。

6. 从2015年10月1日起,2016财年有9,940个EB-5签证可供各个国家的申请人使用。

7. 在2015年9月30日结束的2015财年,一共颁发了9,764个签证。其中83.5%,共计8,157个申请人来自中国。其他国家地区的申请人共占16.5%。

8. 越南是第二大申请国,有280位申请人,占总数的2.87%。第三位是台湾,有139位申请人,占1.4%。韩国第四位有116位申请人,占1.2%。第5名是印度,有111名申请人,占1.1%。可以看出,这是第一次亚洲国家包揽前五名。在过去墨西哥(2014财年129个签证)和委内瑞拉(2013财年92个签证)名列前五。

9. 在颁发的9,764个签证中,占99.23%的9,689个签证均在T5类别(50万美金直接投资目标就业区域 /农村区域)和I5类别(50万美金投资区域中心 –目标就业区域 /农村)。小于1%( 0.77%)为C5类别( 100万美金直接投资)和R5类别(100万美金区域中心投资)两类,投资总额约为50亿美金。这略低于2014财年发布的10,692个签证。可用签证数量略有减少是因为未使用的亲属移民签证变少,以及许多签证申请人在2015年9月没有参加面试。有些申请人被拒签了,主要是因为没有提供所有必要的文件,属于美国移民法221(g)条规定的“软性”拒签。

10. 在这9,764个EB-5签证中,只有991或者大约10%的签证是通过在美国调整身份获得,有8,773个签证是通过在海外的美国使领馆发出。

这些关键的统计数据显示了EB-5项目的成功与活力,该项目每年为美国的开发商和各个产业提供数十亿美元的资金,同时也为美国创造了成千上万的就业机会,没有花费美国纳税人一分钱。

现在是时候让媒体停止攻击EB-5项目,并承认EB-5移民做出了大量的贡献。通过EB-5拿到绿卡的移民只占职业移民年度配额的7.1%。由于EB-5申请人目前至少需要5-6年时间才能获得I-829取消条件申请批准和返还资金,所以估计有 250-300亿美元资金在投资市场中。 此外,有约15,000份申请目前在等待审理,代表约75亿美元资金,是很高的利益。此外,很多移民通过购买房屋和公司进一步增加了对美国经济的贡献。根据我的经验,我的EB- 5客户大部分会购买200万到500万美金的房产,所以这又是每年200亿到500亿美元的收益,更不要提购买的公司,以及给每个子女平均每年10万美金的私立学校学费。这些巨大的注资给美国创造了数以千计的额外就业机会。

现在是国会应该采取行动的时候,并通过允许EB-5项目永久开展并提高签证配额的法律。EB-5类签证目前被限制在每年14万职业移民额度的7.1%。美国政府应该像原先国会设想的一样给10,000个投资人发出绿卡,而不是以3,500个家庭计算签证数量。 每个EB-5申请平均大约使用2.7或2.8签证数量。原因是,美国移民法要求不仅要求计算投资者的签证,也要计算配偶和子女的签证,这导致中国投资者等待很长的时间。

10,000个绿卡名额是由25年前老布什总统在1990年签署通过的美国移民法设定的,从那以后签证配额从来没有被调整过,但需求在过去的10年里,绿卡需求量增长了1000%。相比之下,每年有55,000签证根据政府的民族多样性计划,被随机抽签发给具有高中文凭或两年的工作经验的申请人。另外,在EB-5开始的最初几年,签证配额都没有被用完过。2006财年至2008财年的3年中,只给EB-5申请人发出了3,038个签证,这3年里没有用到的27,000个名额应该被重新使用。

原文作者:Bernard Wolfsdorf律师,原文来源:www.wolfsdorf.com。

EB-5 Visas and the Chinese Waiting Line — Ten Things I learned from Mr. Charles Oppenheim, Department of State (DOS), Chief, Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting

By Bernard Wolfsdorf, Esq.

On October 22, 2015, Mr. Oppenheim released critical information at the IIUSA conference in Dallas, Texas regarding the EB-5 program, including predictions as to the Chinese EB-5 waiting line

In May 2015, the DOS announced the establishment of a cut-off date for the Chinese EB-5 category of May 2013, establishing a waiting line of 2 years for persons chargeable to the China quota. Remarkably, in the seven months from May 2015 to November 2015, the waiting line has not retrogressed once and has moved forward at the rate of about one month in every one of the 7 past visa bulletins. Fortunately this trend continues for the entire first quarter of Fiscal Year 2016 (October, 2015-December 2015), and slows down only slightly in the second quarter of FY 2016 (January 2016-March 2016).

It may be noted Mr. Oppenheim has refrained from making predictions for the March 2016 EB-5 Visa Bulletin. This is despite the unprecedented surge in filings leading up to the critical September 30, 2015 sunset date when the program was extended for 10 weeks to December 11, 2015 as part of a continuing resolution.

Highlights of Mr. Oppenheim’s comments are:

1. The ACTUAL Final Action Date or cut-off date for China EB-5 for December 2015 will be December 15, 2013

2. The ESTIMATED Final Action Date for China EB-5 for January 2016 will be January 8, 2014

3. The ESTIMATED Final Action Date for China EB-5 for February 2016 will be January 15, 2014. Note for February the forward movement is only one week per month because of the workload implications associated with the start of the Chinese New Year, as opposed to January 2016 which represented a forward movement of three weeks. The rest of the world remains current with no limit on the processing of cases ready for final action.

4. Most important Mr. Oppenheim explained that based on current demand patterns, for September 2016, the last day of the FY 2016 year, would be a best case scenario for a China EB-5 Final Action Date would be May 2014 and the worst case would be April 2014. This of course could be April 1, 2014, and that date could be “frozen” at April 1, 2014 at any point during the summer months to hold visa issuances within the FY-2016 annual limit.

5. Reparably this means the waiting line for applicants chargeable to the China quota would continue to be about two years for the next few months and would only increase to about 2 1/2 years by the end of the 2016 Fiscal Year on September 30, 2016. Since most cases take at least 18 months to be scheduled for final interviews abroad this means that for FY 2016 the additional waiting line caused by the China quota is a mere 6-12 months, hardly the catastrophe anticipated by the surge in EB-5 filings.(USCIS IPO average processing times) are presently 13.8 months and scheduling an interview in Guangzhou takes another 4-5 months)

6. On October 1, 2015, the FY 2016 limit of 9,940 EB-5 visas became available for use under the worldwide distribution.

7. For FY 2015 ending September 30, 2015, 9,764 EB-5 visas were issued of which 8,157 or 83.5% were from China with the rest of the world providing only 16.5% of applicants.

8. Vietnam provided the 2nd largest number of immigrants with 280 immigrants representing 2.87% of the total. Third was Taiwan with 139 or 1.4%. South Korea was fourth with 116 or 1.2%. In 5th place was India with 111 or 1.1%. India joined the top 5 countries for the first time. It may also be noted that for the first time Asia provided all of the top 5 countries. In prior years Mexico (FY2014-129 visas) and Venezuela (FY2013-92 visas) were in the top 5.

9. Of the 9,764 EB-5 visas issued 9,689 or 99.23% were in the T5 ($500,000 Direct-TEA/Rural) and I5 ($500,000 Regional Cetner-TEA/Rural) categories and less than 1% (.77%) were in the C5 ($1m Direct) and R5 ($1m Regional Center) categories representing almost $5 billion dollars invested in the US economy. This is slightly below the 10,692 issued in FY 2014. The reduction is because the number of visas available declined slightly as a result of less spillover from unused family visas together with many visa applicant no-shows for September 2015 interviews. Some were refused, primarily for not having all of the required documents, and were classified as Section 221(g) “soft “denials.

10. Of these 9,764 EB-5 visas only 991 or roughly 10% adjusted status in the U.S., whereas 8,773 consular processed through American consulates or embassies abroad.

These critical statistics show the vitality and continued success of the EB-5 visa program that provides billions of dollars of capital every year to developers and U.S. industry while also creating thousands of jobs for U.S. workers without costing US taxpayers a penny.

It’s time for the media to stop trash-talking the program and recognize the massive contribution made by EB-5 immigrants who are limited to 7.1 percent of Employment-based annual limit.. Since EB-5 deal flow is presently at least 5-6 years before an I-829 removal of conditions application is approved, and the money available for return to the investor, an estimated $25-$30 billion is in play. Moreover, with an estimated 15,000 petitions currently pending in the pipeline, representing about $7.5 billion, the stakes are high. In addition many of these immigrants purchase homes and businesses magnifying the contribution to the U.S. economy. My experience is most of my EB-5 investor clients purchase homes in the $2-$5 million range adding another $20-$50 billion annually, not to mention the businesses purchased and an average $100,000 a year spent educating each child at private schools and colleges. This huge capital injection creates thousands of additional U.S. jobs.

It’s time for Congress to step up to the plate and pass a permanent extension to the EB-5 program and to raise the quota. The EB-5 visa category is restricted to 7.1% of the 140,000 Employment Based Immigrant Visa allocated annually. The U.S. needs to issue EB-5 visas to 10,000 investors as originally intended by Congress, not the estimated 3,500 families currently processed. Each EB-5 petition presently uses approximately 2.7 or 2.8 visas on average. The reason being that the Immigration and Nationality Act requires that not only the investor’s visa issuance be counted against the EB-5 annual limit, but also their spouse and child’s visas, causing long waiting lines for Chinese investors.

This quota of approximately 10,000 was set by the Immigration Act of 1990 signed into law over 25 years ago by President George H.W Bush. The quota has never been adjusted despite over 1,000% increase in demand in the past 10 years alone. In contrast 55,000 visas are allocated for the Diversity Lottery Program that are randomly awarded annually to applicants with a high school diploma or two years’ work experience. In addition tens of thousands of visas available under the annual limits were not used during most of the earlier years of the EB-5 program. From FY 2006 to FY 2008 only 3,038 visas were issued so just for these 3 years there were almost 27,000 unused visas that need to be recaptured.

IIUSA is deeply grateful to Mr. Oppenheim of the US Department of State for being among the government representatives speaking at the Dallas event from October 21-23, 2015. The EB-5 Market Exchange was attended by hundreds of developers, Regional Centers, industry specialists and others actively involved in this important and highly successful investment visa program.

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