The EB-5 visa program has seen several updates and significant developments in 2024 that are important for potential investors, especially Indian nationals. Here are the key points:

  1. Visa Allocation and Availability: For the fiscal year 2024, the total number of EB-5 visas has increased significantly. Rather than the usual 10,000 visas, the allocation has surged to 22,233, which includes over 5,000 set-aside visas for rural, high-unemployment, and infrastructure projects. This is a positive development, particularly for Indian and Chinese applicants, who have faced backlogs in recent years oai_citation:1,Additional EB-5 Visas for 2024: Over 5,000 Rural Set-Asides! – EB5 United oai_citation:2,March 2024 Visa Bulletin: EB-5 Reform Changes & USCIS AOS Disallowance Reasons.
  2. Priority Dates: According to the March 2024 Visa Bulletin, the priority date for Indian EB-5 applicants in the unreserved category is December 1, 2020. This indicates a continued backlog, although there has been some advancement compared to previous years. For applicants in the reserved categories (rural, high-unemployment areas, and infrastructure projects), the priority dates remain current, offering faster processing for these investments oai_citation:3,March 2024 Visa Bulletin: EB-5 Reform Changes & USCIS AOS Disallowance Reasons.
  3. Fee Increases: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has significantly increased the filing fees for various EB-5 related forms. For example, the fee for Form I-526 has risen from $3,675 to $11,160, and for Form I-829 from $3,750 to $9,525. These changes reflect USCIS’s strategy to cover the full cost of processing and administering the EB-5 program oai_citation:4,Analysis of USCIS Fee Schedule Changes 2024: EB-5 Visa Filing Cost Increase.
  4. Regulatory Changes: The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA) of 2022 continues to influence the program. One major update is the auditing of designated regional centers at least once every five years to ensure compliance and integrity. This act aims to improve the transparency and reliability of the EB-5 program, providing better security for investors oai_citation:5,EB-5 What’s New | USCIS.
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For Indian nationals considering the EB-5 visa, these developments highlight both opportunities and challenges. The increase in visa numbers and the availability of set-aside visas can potentially reduce wait times. However, the substantial fee increases and the necessity for due diligence in choosing reputable projects are critical considerations. Engaging with experienced immigration attorneys and staying informed about ongoing changes are essential steps to navigate the EB-5 process successfully.

For more detailed information and the latest updates, you can visit the official USCIS EB-5 page or resources like VisaVerge and IIUSA.