The Department of State has finished publishing its Report of the Visa Office 2022. The report covers EB-5 visas issued from October 2021 to September 2022, with a breakdown by country of origin, path (consular processing or status adjustment), and category (direct, regional center, TEA, reserved, unreserved). I’ve been waiting anxiously for the report, wondering about visa wastage, Integrity Act implementation, and impacts on the visa backlog and EB-5 visa wait times for China, India, and Vietnam.
FY2022 EB-5 Visa Issuance and Wastage
USCIS actually issued 10,885 of the unusually-high 19,987 EB-5 visas available in 2022. Of the 9,102 EB-5 visas that didn’t get issued in FY2022, 6,396 couldn’t have been issued because segregated into newly-created set-aside categories. (The unused set-asides should carry over in future years, though the FY23 visa limits report doesn’t show the carryover.) The remaining 2,706 unused EB-5 visas in FY2022 were permanently lost to EB-5. (FY2022 is still much better than FY2021 when EB-5 lost 15,673 total visas and FY2020 when EB-5 lost 7,498 visas.)
Visa wastage particularly affected countries with mostly regional center applicants using consular processing. For example, South Koreans got 695 EB-5 visas in 2019 (the most recent “normal” year) but only 396 visas in 2022 (86% by consular processing), despite the fact that 909 South Korean EB-5 applicants were ready and registered at the National Visa Center at the start of 2022. Hong Kong likewise suffered, with only 142 EB-5 visas issued in FY2022 despite 866 Hong Kong applicants being ready at NVC at the start of the year.
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