USCIS has recently released EB-5 statistics. These statistics reflect the booming popularity of the program – both by investors and companies in the United States seeking to attract investment.
Just in the first 6 months of fiscal year 2011 alone, the number of EB-5 visas issued has already surpassed the total for all of 2010. 2,129 visas have been issued in 2011, while a total of 1,885 were issued in 2010. The number of petitions filed in the first two quarters of 2011 totals 1,601; in 2010, less than 2,000 petitions were submitted.
The number of Regional Centers has also mushroomed. There are nearly 150 Regional Centers, with another 90 applications pending. Given the advantages of the Regional Centers, it is understandable that 90-95% of all investments are made through the RCs.
One cautionary sign is that the percentage of approvals at the initial petition stage has dropped – from 89% to 81%, although the percentage of approvals at the condition removal stage has increased – from 83% to 86%. While it is certainly the case that more individual investor petitions are denied as a percentage than petitions filed through a Regional Center, it only takes the problems of one Regional Center with a multitude of investors to negatively impact these statistics.
The lesson: These statistics underscore the need for due diligence to be conducted before making an investment in a Regional Center.
Please contact us to put our 15 years of EB-5 experience to work in helping you to make sense of the overwhelming amount of EB-5 information and proposals out there.