Updated DOS Predictions on EB5 Wait Times

Charles Oppenheim, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, gave a presentation at the IIUSA EB5 Industry Forum on October 29, 2019, where he provided stakeholders with his updated predictions on backlogs and wait times for EB5 applicants. Notably, Mr. Oppenheim now believes that EB5 applicants from India could actually face a shorter wait time than previously predicted.

Predictions for Countries Facing Backlogs

Mr. Oppenheim provided wait time predictions for the countries oversubscribed in the EB5 category (or likely to become oversubscribed, as in the case of South Korea, Taiwan, and Brazil) that are listed below. The predictions provided are for I-526 petitions filed after October 28, 2019.

China (based on 3,000 per year): about 16.2 years

Vietnam (700 visas per year): about 7.1 years

India (700 visas per year): about 6.7 years

South Korea (700 visas per year): about 3.0 years

Taiwan (700 visas per year): about 1.9 years

Brazil (700 visas per year): about 1.4 years

Earlier this year, Mr. Oppenheim had predicted backlogs as long as 8.4 years in the EB5 India category. This updated prediction of 6.7 years, while still long, is significantly shorter than previously feared.

These predictions show the “worst case” expected wait times from the date of the I-526 petition filing to the date the case will become current on the final action chart of the monthly visa bulletin. More details on the visa bulletin are available in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, Priority Dates: How Does the Visa Bulletin Work (25.Mar.2019).

Near-Term Predictions for December 2019 and Best / Worst Case Predictions

Mr. Oppenheim also provided predictions for the final action date in the December 2019 Visa Bulletin, and both a “best case” and “worst case” prediction for the final action date on October 1, 2020, which will be the start of the 2021 fiscal year .


  • December 2019: November 15, 2014
  • Best Case Prediction for October 2020: March 8, 2015
  • Worst Case Prediction for October 2020: February 15, 2015


  • December 2019: January 1, 2018
  • Best Case Prediction for October 2020: Current
  • Worst Case Prediction for October 2020: November 2017


  • December 2019: December 1, 2016
  • Best Case Prediction for October 2020: June 1, 2017
  • Worst Case Prediction for October 2020: April 1, 2017

Mr. Oppenheim predicts the EB5 category will remain current for all other countries of chargeability through the rest of this fiscal year.


In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of EB5 filings, especially from India and Vietnam. More recently, the backlogs have deterred many from pursuing the EB5 category. On November 21, 2019, the minimum investment requirements to qualify for EB5 will increase dramatically, which will likely result in even fewer EB5 petition filings. This is unfortunate, as EB5 investors have helped to boost the U.S. economy and have created thousands of jobs for U.S. workers.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.