Immigrant Investor Visa (EB-5 Visas) Frequently Asked Questions

Immigrant Investor Visa (EB-5 Visas) FAQs


  1. Do I qualify for an immigrant investor (EB-5) visa?
  2. How do I apply for an immigrant investor (EB-5) visa?
  3. Are there numerical limitations on immigrant investor (EB-5) visas?
  4. Are there immigrant investor (EB-5) visa quotas for Chinese applicants?
  5. How many immigrant investor (EB-5) visas does U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou issue annually?
  6. Why was Chinese immigrant investor (EB-5) visa processing suspended in FY 14? Could this happen again in FY 2015?
  7. Where can I find more information on the Immigrant Investor Program?


  1. What is the Immigrant Investor Program?

The U.S. Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5 Program,” in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers this program which makes approximately 10,000 immigrant investor visas available annually to qualified investors worldwide.

  1. Do I qualify for an immigrant investor (EB-5) visa?

A foreign national must invest the following minimum qualifying capital dollar amounts in a qualifying commercial enterprise:

  • $1,000,000 (U.S.); or
  • $500,000 (U.S.) in a high-unemployment or rural area, considered a targeted employment area.

A qualifying investment, must, within two years, create full-time jobs for at least 10 U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or other immigrants authorized to work in the United States, not including the investor and the investor’s spouse, sons, or daughters.

For more information on whether you or your business qualify, please visit the USCIS website:

  1. How do I apply for an immigrant investor (EB-5) visa?

Acquiring lawful permanent residence status (a “Green Card”) through the EB-5 program is a multi-step process.

First Step – File a Petition: A successful applicant must obtain USCIS approval of his or her Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur (Form I-526).  For more information on filing the Form I-526 petition, see on the USCIS website.

Next Steps – Immigrant Visa Application Processing and Interview: USCIS sends approved immigrant investor petitions to the National Visa Center (NVC) for immigrant visa processing. The NVC provides the investor with instructions to submit appropriate immigrant visa fees, application forms, necessary civil documents, and more.   Once the investor’s immigrant visa file is complete, the NVC schedules the applicant’s interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate. The investor then makes a visa application and is interviewed by a consular officer. If a consular officer determines that the investor is eligible for a visa in all respects then the consular officer would issue an immigrant investor visa. Learn more about immigrant visa case processing at:

Final Step – Ending Conditional Status: Investors receive “conditional” legal permanent residence status upon admission to the U.S as an immigrant. A Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions (Form I-829) must be filed within the 90-day period prior to the second anniversary of the investor’s admission to the U.S. as a conditional permanent resident. If this petition is approved by USCIS then the conditions on the EB-5 investor’s lawful permanent residence will be removed and he or she will be issued a new Green Card.

  1. Are there numerical limitations on immigrant investor (EB-5) visas?

Every fiscal year (October 1st – September 30th), approximately 10,000 immigrant investor visa numbers are made available to qualified applicants worldwide under the provisions of U.S. immigration law. Immigrant investor visas are issued in the chronological order in which the petitions were filed until the annual numerical limit for the category is reached.

  1. Are there immigrant investor (EB-5) visa quotas for Chinese applicants?

The annual per-country limit for EB-5 visas is approximately 700.  The per-country limitation serves to avoid monopolization of virtually all of the annual worldwide immigrant visa numbers by applicants from only a few countries. However, these limitations are not a quota to which any particular country is entitled. There is a provision in the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) which allows for “otherwise unused” visa numbers under the annual limit to be made available to other countries without regard to the per-country limit.   As a result, Chinese applicants have been able to use over 80% of the visa numbers available under each year’s worldwide EB-5 annual limit.

  1. How many immigrant investor (EB-5) visas does U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou issue annually?

Chinese nationals are currently the single largest consumers of the USCIS-administered EB-5 Immigrant Investor program visa category.  This year China used more than 80 percent of the worldwide visa numbers available under the EB-5 annual limit, which has been set by the Congress at approximately 10,000 visas. U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou issued the following number of EB-5 visas during the last three fiscal years:

FY-2014:   8,237

FY-2013:   6,198

FY-2012:   5,632

  1. Why was Chinese immigrant investor (EB-5) visa processing suspended in FY 14? Could this happen again in FY 2015?

In late August 2014, EB-5 visa numbers became “unavailable” for Chinese applicants. That situation was only temporary. Applicants who were already scheduled for an interview at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou during August or September 2014 were not affected. With the start of the new fiscal year on October 1, 2014, the EB-5 category once again became “current” for applicants from all countries.

China will be subject to an EB-5 cut-off date at some point during the summer of FY 2015 in order to allow applicants from all other countries to be processed under their EB-5 per-country limit. In recent years Chinese applicants have used over 80% of all available EB-5 visa numbers, with all other countries using 20%. If applications from other countries were to increase, it would result in fewer “otherwise unused” visa numbers being available for Chinese investors’ use.

  1. Where can I find more information on the Immigrant Investor Visa Program?

Information is available at the following U.S. government sites:


Department of State:




等候时间 (Wait Times)






在美国领事馆面试是申请移民美国最后程序的其中一步。面试完成后,你知道你还可以通过GSS 网站查询你的护照状态吗?



Wait Times

The decision to immigrate to the US is never an easy one. Once the decision is made, a process is started which will ultimately see many families starting a new life together in the United States, a place made up of people from many different backgrounds and cultures.

A key question we get from our applicants is how long it will take to complete the application process. This answer depends on your individual situation. Immigration to the U.S. is one of the most unique and unifying experiences for citizens of all countries. Every year, we see millions of applicants seeking to immigrate to the U.S. In order to manage immigration demands, our government has tried made the process as efficient as possible.

Applicants will have different processing times depending on their particular situation. Priority is given to dependent family members such as parents, spouses, and young children. The Department of State publishes a visa bulletin which lists the current expected wait times for all visa categories.

Once you have submitted your documents, please check the USCIS website to check your case status.

Interviewing at the consulate is one of the final steps in the U.S. immigration process. After the interview, did you know that you can track the progress of your passport through the GSS website?

We hope we hope we have clarified the waiting process for you, if you have questions ask them below!

移民美国?(Immigrating to the U.S.?)






Immigrating to the U.S.?

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people immigrate legally to the United States.  They come from every country and from diverse ethnic, religious, and racial backgrounds.  The United States was built by immigrants, and Americans are proud of our heritage.

The decision to immigrate to the United States is a complex one that goes beyond questions of visa eligibility.  Unlike the situation that faced previous generations of immigrants, modern transportation and communications allow immigrants today to maintain substantial ties to their countries of origin.  But immigration still requires commitment to a new life in the United States and all the lifestyle changes that entails.  Research and advance planning are essential.  The US Citizenship and Immigration Services publication “Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants” is available in several languages and provides helpful advice which prospective immigrants may wish to review.

If you are interested in immigrating to the U.S., learn more on our website.


护照宅送服务 (Passport Home Delivery Service)







Passport Home Delivery Service

The U.S. Embassy and the Consulates General are happy to inform you that for a small fee, all applicants can now opt for a Premium Home Delivery Service when applying for their U.S. visa.

Effective immediately, applicants for visas at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulates in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenyang will have the option to choose the passport home delivery option for a small fee.  This includes both non-immigrant and immigrant visas. We will continue to offer free passport pick-up service at more than 900 CITIC Bank locations throughout Mainland China.

It is easy to select the home delivery service.  When scheduling your visa appointment on our convenient and simple-to-use website, applicants will see a drop-down menu and have the option of selecting either the CITIC bank pickup or home-delivery option.  For more information about this premium service, please visit

The U.S. Mission in China is dedicated to providing quality service to our visa applicants.  We are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to improve our efficiency and customer service.  We are therefore proud to announce the availability of this new premium passport delivery option, which will make the U.S. visa application process even more convenient for our applicants.

主题:为什么领事官员要求我提供联合担保人?这是什么意思?(Joint sponsor: Why did the consular officer request a joint sponsor from me?)

身处美国的美国公民或绿卡持有者(合法永久居民)亲属为其在中国的亲属递交移民签证申请时,即表明他们愿意为其打算移民美国的亲属提供经济担保。在申请过程中, 你可能听到一些通用的术语。很多申请人问到,美国申请人和担保人有何区别。 事实上, 担保人就是美国申请人。 某些情况下,当美国申请人没有足够收入为其申请人提供经济担保时,那么申请时就需要联合担保人。 联合担保人通常是另一个人,常常会是美国申请人或签证申请人的朋友或亲属;他们同意在美国申请人不能提供担保时为申请人提供经济担保。

对于绝大部分的移民签证申请而言, 领事官员都会在签证面谈时审阅所提交的担保材料, 包括经济担保书(即I-864表或I-134表)。 官员同时也会审阅美国申请人提供的相关证明材料, 包括工作证明, 纳税记录以及资产证明。 领事官员将根据家庭人数而确定美国申请人的收入是否达到联邦贫困线水平的125% 或以上。 最新的贫困线收入水平可以查阅此网页:
2014 HHS Poverty income Guidelines

我们举例说明来帮助理解吧。假设有一位美国公民丈夫申请他的中国妻子。 丈夫住在纽约, 他在2013年的收入有12000美元。 依据 HHS(美国卫生和人类服务部)公布的 2014年 贫困线水平, 对于一家两口, 这位美国申请人必须每年收入至少有19,662美元才能达到贫困线水平的125%。在面谈时, 领事官员将要求提供联合担保人。

联合担保人必须是居住在美国, 并且愿意为打算移民美国的人提供资金担保的美国公民或合法永久居民(绿卡持有者)。 对联合担保人的要求和担保人是一样的。 你可以在此网页获取更多有关担保的详细信息:Affidavit of Support

When a U.S. Citizen or Green-Card Holder (Lawful Permanent Resident) relative in the United States files an immigrant visa petition for their relative in China, they are agreeing to provide financial support for their relative who plans to immigrate to the U.S.

During the petition process, you may hear some terms that are interchangeable.  Many applicants ask, what’s the difference between the petitioner and the sponsor?  The truth is the sponsor is the petitioner.  In some cases where the petitioner in the U.S. may not make enough money to financially support the applicant, there may be a joint sponsor as part of the application.  The joint sponsor is usually another person, often a friend or relative of the petitioner or applicant, who agrees to provide financial support to the applicant if the petitioner cannot.

At the interview with a consular officer, the officer will review all of the financial documents provided, including the Affidavit of Support Form (I-864 and in some cases I-134) for most immigrant visa petitions.  Officers will also review supporting financial documents from the petitioner, including proof of employment, tax records, and assets.  The consular officer will determine whether or not the petitioner has an income of at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, based on the family size.  The current poverty income guidelines can be found here:  2014 HHS Poverty Income Guidelines


Let’s discuss an example to make it easier to understand.   Let’s say a U.S. Citizen husband petitions for his Chinese wife.  The husband lives in New York and in 2013 he earned $12,000. According to the 2014 HHS Poverty income guidelines, the petitioner must earn a minimum of $19,662 for a family of two in order to qualify at the 125% of the poverty income level.  At the interview, the consular officer will request a joint sponsor.

A joint sponsor must be a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder) living in the U.S. who is willing to financially support the person immigrating to the U.S.  The joint sponsor will need to meet the same requirements as a sponsor.  You can read more detailed information about the Affidavit of Support here:  Affidavit of Support

领事服务费将从2014年9月12日起调整 (Consular Fee Change Effective 9/12/2014)


同样地,未婚夫/妻(K)签证费也将上调 – K签证是由移民签证部处理的一个非移民签证类别。


签证类别   原费用  新费用
未婚夫/妻签证(K)     $240    $265
条约交易者(E-1) 和条约投资者(E-2)签证     $270     $205
签证类别       原费用    新费用
直属关系类和家庭关系类签证 $230 $325
工作类签证 $405 $345
其他类别移民签证 $220 $205
判定绿卡持有者身份申请(回美签证) $275 $180
两年居住期必要条件豁免申请 $215 $120
经济担保书审阅服务(仅限于在美国本土审阅) $88 $120


Immigrant and non-immigrant visa application fees for certain visa categories will change on September 12, 2014. For Immigrant Visa processing, the fees for family-sponsored immigrants and the domestic review of an Affidavit of Support will increase while all other immigrant and special visa processing fees will decrease.

Likewise, the fee for K or Fiancé(e) visas, a non-immigrant visa category processed by the immigrant visa unit, will increase.

Additional information on these fee changes may be found on the Department of State’s website,

Nonimmigrant Visa Processing Fees
Fiancé(e) visas (K) $240 $265
Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) $270 $205
Immigrant Visa Processing Fees
Immediate Relative and Family Preference Applications $230 $325
Employment-Based Applications $405 $345
Other Immigrant Visa Applications $220 $205
Determining Returning Resident Status $275 $180
Waiver of Two-Year Residency Requirement $215 $120
Affidavit of Support Review (only when reviewed domestically) $88 $120



主题:面谈日(Interview Day)


通过安检之后,请步行穿过 庭院进入领事馆大楼,然后搭乘电梯至三楼到等候大厅。首先,你要到一号窗口取号,然后坐在A区等候被叫号及提交资料。电子屏幕会提示你到几号窗口,所以等待过程中请留意电子屏幕的显示。当你的号码被叫到后,请到相应的窗口向工作人员提交所需的资料。
深呼吸!领事也是普通人!一般情况下, 领事会花几分钟时间和申请人谈一谈他们的移民签证申请。实际上和领事面对面的交谈往往是个简单的过程,领事会用普通话进行面谈。领事会先问候一下申请人 ,然后开始面谈。面谈时,领事会让你打指纹并宣誓。你需要记住的最重要的事情之一就是你已经发誓,所以你要如实地回答问题。如果没有听明白问题,不用担心,你可以让领事重复一遍问题,领事要确保所有申请人都有机会全面并诚实地回答问题。
如果你的申请被拒签 ,领事会向你解释被拒签的原因以及下一步该做什么。同时你也会收到一份中英文拒签解释信。 在领事告诉你签证被批准或者拒绝之后, 你的签证面谈就结束了。


Interview flowchart


Many of our applicants worry about their immigrant visa interview day.  Applicants don’t know what to expect, or are worried they won’t be able to speak in their native language to the American officer at the interview.   We hope this blog entry will give immigrant visa applicants a better idea of what to expect on the day of their face-to-face interview with a consular officer.

Many applicants believe that they need to arrive early and line up outside the U.S. Consulate on their interview day. That is not the case.  All of our applicants have a set appointment time and there’s no need to wait outside for a long time before your interview.  We recommended that you don’t arrive at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou more than 30 minutes before your appointment time.

You get into the compound by showing your passport and appointment letter to the guards.  The next step is to go through our security checks.  Remember not to bring any of prohibited items such as weapons of any kind, mobile phones, and personal bags.  You can find more details on what you can and cannot bring on this webpage. Security screening may take 5-15 minutes.

After going through security, you will walk through the courtyard to enter the Consulate building and then take the elevator to the interview waiting area located on the third floor.  You’ll first get a number at Window 1 and then take a seat in “Zone A” where you will wait for your number to be called to submit your documents.  Pay close attention to the TV screens as they show which window you need to go to next.  You will be directed to a specific window and a staff member at the window will collect all necessary documents.

Once your documents have been collected, you are ready for your interview.  You should wait to be called by the officer in “Zone B” and continue to monitor the TV screen.  You can expect to wait about 20-40 minutes before you are called for your interview.  When your number is called, proceed to the window indicated on the monitor to begin your interview with a consular officer.

Take a deep breath! Our officers are normal people too! Officers generally want to spend a few minutes talking to the applicant about their immigrant visa petition.  In reality, the face-to-face interview with a consular officer is usually a simple process.  The officer will speak in Mandarin Chinese, greet the applicant and begin the interview.  During the interview, the officer will take your fingerprints and also administer an oath.   One of the most important things to remember is that you are under oath, so answer questions truthfully.  If you don’t understand the question don’t be afraid to ask the officer to repeat the question.  Officers want to make sure all of our applicants have a chance to answer questions completely and honestly.

Once the interview has finished, the officer will tell you whether your visa application is approved.  If you are approved, the officer will give you a sheet with information on how and when you will be receiving your immigrant visa packet.  We will leave your passport at the U.S. Consulate, in order for us to print your visa inside.

If your visa is refused, the officer will explain why it was refused, and explain the next steps you need to take.  The refusal explanation will also be provided in writing (both in English and Mandarin).  After the officer informs you of the approval or refusal, your interview is complete.

The Immigrant Visa Blog is intended to give helpful information about immigrant visas.  As always, we recommend you visit our U.S. Consulate Guangzhou official website or a website maintained by our authorized service provider, for complete instructions or to schedule an appointment.
Please also post comments or questions.  While we cannot respond about specific cases, your comment or question could be a featured topic of a blog post in the future!

The diagram above is a flowchart of the visa interview process.