Congress created the EB-5 program in 1990’s to bring investments in the country in exchange for Green card (permanent residence). This program is otherwise known as Employment based fifth preference program.
The EB-5 program has 10,000 visa annual quotas (including family members) requiring USD 500,000 invested in the country. It was only in Nov 21, 2019, the US government decided to double the investment levels to USD 900,000. One of important conditions is job creation.
We have compiled the number of EB-5 visas from 1992 to 2018. The total number of EB-5 visas during the 26 year history reach 83,568, according to DHS immigration statistics of lawful permanent residents. This total includes investors and all family members including children.
When the program launched in 1992 only 59 visas were granted and it was only after 16 years in 2008 the EB-5 program took off, approving more than thousand visas. The visa approvals hit lowest levels in 2003 with just 64 visas granted for the entire year. In 2012, the program visa approvals reached half quota, and took just two more years in 2014 to reach full quota limits.
Today the EB5 immigrant investor program remains one of the most popular golden visa program in the world for economic investors.
Source: DHS Yearly immigration and Annual reports
Source: DHS Immigration Yearly statistics / Annual reports
EB-5 is most popular in these countries
- China (incl Taiwan / Hong Kong)
- South Korea
Chinese face significant waiting times due to significant backlog.
USCIS announced recently the new rules effective from March 2020, will make petition approvals and granting of visas much faster. There are currently more than approved 1200 regional centers helping the EB-5 investor make investment decisions for investments over $900K or more..