More than a month has passed since the State Department instated a cut-off date for the issuance of visas to mainland China-born investors through the EB-5 program, and investors and issuers continue to adapt to the changes.

The most impactful consequence of the cut-off date is the immediate lengthening of the EB-5 processing timeline. The cut-off doesn’t prevent investment: investors are still able to file their I-526 petitions and make qualifying investments in current EB-5 offerings. However, once an investor who is subject to the cut-off date receives approval of his/her I-526 petition, he/she will have to wait to request a consular interview or to file an I-485 to adjust status to begin their conditional permanent residency until more visas become available.

Though longer waits for a visa may be inconvenient, it remains the fastest path to a green card for many Chinese immigrants. Since investors cannot be credited with a return of their investment until after their I-829 petitions have been approved, some EB-5 experts worry that fewer projects would be able to be structured in a way that could wait that long to return the capital contributions. The popular loan model with a traditional five year re-payment term suddenly fails to be sufficient in all cases. However, interest in EB-5 remains strong.

As the fiscal year continues, and interest from investors in countries outside of China falls short of predictions, more visas are expected to be allocated to China. According to the State Department’s July Visa Bulletin, the EB-5 cut-off date has advanced; visas will now be available to investors whose I-526 petitions were filed on or before September 1, 2013. This unexpected jump is a promising indication that, even without the assistance of legislative change, the backlog will continue to unwind.

Still, the extended immigration timeline makes it critical to manage funds correctly. Working with NES Financial makes compliance with immigration and regulatory requirements simple. As the EB-5 process lengthens, investors need projects they can be confident in — NES Financial’s Intelligent EB-5 solutions help projects achieve success, even as the immigration process faces new challenges.

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