Forecasting the Future of EB-5 Visas: A Promising Outlook

eb 5 visa update
Facundo Bermudez
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Published on 30 Nov 2023 Time to read 5 min read Last update on 16 Feb 2024

The Annual Numerical Limits for Fiscal Year 2024, recently disclosed by the Department of State, have unveiled a noteworthy development in the realm of employment-based visas. The establishment of the employment-based visa limit at 161,000, surpassing the base allocation of 140,000, sets the stage for a higher-than-average number of EB-5 visas in the years to come.

With EB-5 securing 7.1% of all employment-based visas, the result is an above-average issuance of new EB-5 visas, totaling an impressive 11,431, excluding carryover visas from the previous fiscal year. Suzanne Lazicki, an eminent EB-5 processing expert and the owner of Lucid Professional Writing, expresses optimism, stating, “I have some hope that consulates and USCIS will work overtime to issue the 14,000+ unreserved EB-5 visas available this year, considering that all available unreserved EB-5 visas were issued in FY2023.”


Unused Reserved Visa Carryover Dynamics


Within the EB-5 program, there exists a provision for carrying over unused reserved visas from one fiscal year to the next. The Department of State (DOS), in a recent meeting with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), elucidated this process, emphasizing the strategic use of carried-over visas from a previous fiscal year before tapping into the newly reserved visas for that fiscal year. Suzanne Lazicki underscores the significance of this approach, highlighting its potential to maximize the number of reserved visas in any given year.


It’s imperative to note that carried-over reserved visas must be utilized within the year they are transferred, or they risk being lost to that reserved category. Subsequently, they would carry over into unreserved visas the following year. Additionally, there is no provision for carrying over unused unreserved visas.


In summary, if a new visa, such as a rural visa designated in FY 2023, remains unused, it will be carried over to the rural category in FY 2024. However, if it remains unused in that year, it will then transfer to the unreserved category in FY 2025. Failure to utilize it during that year will result in its permanent loss.



Anticipated Trends in Reserved Visa Categories


Suzanne Lazicki’s projections offer a glimpse into the future of reserved visas for specific categories in the upcoming three fiscal years.


For rural visas, all 2,799 newly designated visas for FY 2023 went unused, carrying over into FY 2024. Lazicki’s forecast posits that in FY 2024, only the carried-over rural visas from the previous year will be used, while the new rural visas allocated for that year will carry over into FY 2025. However, there is a degree of uncertainty regarding FY 2025, with Lazicki suggesting that the usage of new rural visas in that year may limit the carryover into FY 2026.


Similarly, high-unemployment visas in FY 2023, totaling 1,399, remain unused and are set to carry over into FY 2024. Lazicki’s projection for FY 2024 anticipates that none of the new high-unemployment visas allocated for that year will be utilized, and they will all carry over to the following fiscal year.

eb 5 visa update

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Projections for High-Unemployment Visas Over the Next Three Years


Suzanne Lazicki, a notable figure in EB-5 processing, has conducted a forecast regarding the quantity of high-unemployment reserved visas for the upcoming three fiscal years. In the preceding fiscal year, FY 2023, all 1,399 freshly designated high-unemployment visas went unutilized, positioning them to roll over into FY 2024. Lazicki’s projections for FY 2024 indicate a scenario where none of the newly allocated high-unemployment visas for that year will be employed, and instead, they are expected to carry over to the subsequent fiscal year, contributing to the evolving dynamics of visa allocation.

eb 5 visa update



In conclusion, the unveiled Annual Numerical Limits for Fiscal Year 2024 have set the stage for a notable paradigm shift in the landscape of employment-based visas, particularly within the EB-5 program. The establishment of an employment-based visa limit at 161,000, exceeding the baseline of 140,000, signals a future marked by a higher-than-average number of EB-5 visas. With a significant 7.1% share of all employment-based visas, the issuance of 11,431 new EB-5 visas is projected for the upcoming year, presenting a promising outlook for prospective immigrants.

As we navigate through the intricacies of EB-5 visa projections, it becomes evident that strategic planning and adaptability will be crucial for stakeholders and prospective immigrants alike. The forthcoming years hold the promise of change and opportunity within the EB-5 program, making it imperative for all involved parties to stay abreast of evolving trends and regulations in the ever-shifting landscape of immigration.

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