October 2022 Visa Bulletin Big Changes—What Does it Mean for EB-5 Investors?

It’s the start of a brand-new week where we bring you more immigration news. In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses big changes to the October 2022 Visa Bulletin, including important updates for EB-5 Immigrant Investors, a breakdown of what these changes mean, and what you can expect in the future.

If you are an EB-5 Immigrant Investor or thinking of participating in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, then this is the right video for you.

Did you know? The Visa Bulletin is a handy tool published by the Department of State every month, for employment-based and family preference categories that are subject to numerical limitations. The Visa Bulletin describes the availability of immigrant visas for each preference category according to the applicant’s “priority date,” and country of nationality. Once your priority date has become current, and a visa number is available, you may proceed with the immigrant visa process (or adjustment of status if residing in the United States).


In this video we analyze specific developments that can be seen in the October 2022 Visa Bulletin as it relates to EB-5 Immigrant Investors.

The October 2022 Visa Bulletin revealed two important considerations for EB-5 Immigrant Investors:

#1: Priority date retrogression for the EB-5 “Unreserved” final action date chart for China from a previous date of December 22, 2015, to March 22, 2015 (9-month retrogression)

#2: Creation of an EB-5 “Unreserved” final action date for India of November 8, 2019, a new date that first appeared in the October 2022 Visa Bulletin.

For all other countries, EB-5 “Unreserved” remains current and is expected to remain current throughout the rest of the year.


All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
1st C C C C C C
2nd C 08JUN19 C 01APR12 C C
3rd C 15JUN18 C 01APR12 C C
Other Workers 01JUN20 01SEP12 01JUN20 01APR12 01JUN20 01JUN20
4th C C 15MAR18 C 15SEP20 C
Certain Religious Workers U U U U U U
5th Unreserved
(including C5, T5, I5, R5)
C 22MAR15 C 08NOV19 C C
5th Set Aside:
Rural (20%)
5th Set Aside:
High Unemployment (10%)
5th Set Aside:
Infrastructure (2%)

For those in the United States seeking adjustment of status, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that applicants falling under employment-based preference categories must use the Dates for Filing Chart. This means that EB-5 applicants for adjustment of status who have a priority date earlier than the application date in the “Dates for Filing,” chart may assemble and submit required documents for adjustment of status to permanent residence.

What does this mean for Indian nationals?

Most Indian nationals residing inside the United States in the EB-5 category, trying to file their adjustment of status applications will not be impacted by this Visa Bulletin, because most I-526 petitions were filed before the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization regulation went into effect on November 21, 2019.

What does this mean for Chinese nationals?

These retrogressions were very surprising to see for immigrant investors from mainland China, especially when considering the high amount of unused EB-5 visa numbers from 2021 and 2022.

In practical terms, this means that the U.S. Embassy in Guangzhou, China, is not going to issue any immigrant visas to EB-5 immigrant investors who did not file their I-526 petitions before March 22, 2015 (the EB-5 “Unreserved” final action cutoff date for China).

In other words, any EB-5 Immigrant Investors that filed their I-526 petition after this date, will not be able to receive an immigrant visa for the time being.

China’s final action cutoff date was implemented because the Department of State realized that the previous cutoff date of December 22, 2015, if unchanged would exceed the per-country numerical limit for China and not enough visas would be available to accommodate the resulting demand.

EB-5 China’s “Unreserved” category in particular has been significantly impacted by the lower numbers for fiscal year 2023. Earlier this year, the Department of State announced that only 200,000 employment-based immigrant visas (green cards) would be available, in comparison to the 280,000 employment-based visas that were available in fiscal year 2022.

Additionally, there has been a 32% reduction in EB-5 visas available to investors who filed their petitions before 2022.

The Takeaway

Moving forward it is unlikely the Department of State is going to advance the EB-5 “Unreserved” category for China in the near future. A change may occur if the Department of State will allocate unused visa numbers from the rest of the world to this category. However, this is yet to be seen. As always, we will continue to monitor the Visa Bulletin and provide new updates right here on our blog.

Questions? If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.

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