The U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently published the October 2023 visa bulletin for the start of the government’s new fiscal year (FY 2024). The October 2023 visa bulletin presents advancements in both the Final Action Dates and Dates for Filing charts for China in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program preference’s unreserved subcategory. Specifically, the Final Action Date for EB-5 China (unreserved) progressed from Sept. 8, 2015, to Oct. 1, 2015. Though this nearly one month advancement is relatively modest, it represents the first movement for the EB-5 category for Chinese investors since May 2023.
The October 2023 visa bulletin showcases significant advancement in the Dates for Filing chart for Chinese investors in the EB-5 category. The dates for filing for Chinese investors moved from Jan. 1, 2016, to Jan. 1, 2017. This movement is noteworthy because of USCIS’ decision to shift from using the Dates for Final Action chart in September 2023 to using the Dates for Filing chart in October 2023 to determine filing eligibility for all employment-based preference categories, including EB-5. When considering the advancements in the visa bulletin and USCIS’ shift from honoring the Final Action Dates to Dates for Filing chart, Chinese investors’ ability to file for an adjustment of status moved up by roughly 15 months, from Sept. 8, 2015, to Jan. 1, 2017.
In addition to an advancement in Chinese investors’ ability to file for an adjustment of status (i.e., their green card application), the movement in the visa bulletin allows Chinese investors with a priority date of Jan. 1, 2017, or earlier to apply for supplemental benefits along with their adjustment of status. Specifically, they can apply for a travel document (advance parole), which allows them to travel internationally and re-enter the United States as a parolee and with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card), which affords them valid work authorization while waiting for USCIS to process their green card application.