Aug 4, 2017
EB-5 China Quota backlog now 10 years long? Time to look to the Grenadian Passport and E-2 Visa for Some Relief!
By: Matthew Galati (马修 加拉蒂)
The EB-5 Program continues to be a popular option for foreign investors wishing to immigrate with their families to the United States. But it might now be too popular for Chinese-born investors. According to the USCIS 2017 Ombudsman Report, as of September 2016 “there are just over 10,000 approved investor petitions awaiting an…immigrant visa” The high demand for EB-5 filing has created a visa backlog since 2014. In the report, USCIS estimates that the backlog for Chinese nationals to receive conditional residency is now 10 years or longer.
USCIS’ sobering news further highlights the need for alternatives. As we have mentioned before, Chinese investors can alleviate the pain of the EB-5 quota backlog by obtaining an E-2 Nonimmigrant Investor Visa through Grenadian citizenship. The E-2 visa can be issued for a period of five years, with no limit on the number of E-2 visa extensions that one might secure. Spouses and dependent children can obtain their own E-2 visas, which allow them to work in the U.S. and attend public or private school until the age of 21, respectively.
Only citizens of countries that have treaties with the U.S. are able to apply for an E-2 visa. While China does not have an E-2 treaty with the U.S., Grenada is the only country in the world that offers citizenship by investment and also holds an E-2 treaty with the United States. The processing period for obtaining Grenadian citizenship and then an E-2 visa takes mere months, enabling a family to reside in the U.S. while their EB-5 priority dates become current. Families which have already filed EB-5 petitions are not precluded from applying.
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