Chinese foreign nationals have filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of State (DOS). The plaintiffs request the court to force the DOS to authorize the allotment of FY 2022 EB-5 immigrant visa numbers to them and their families by September 30, 2022. They also request the processing of these visa applications without delay.
The lawsuit attempts to force the State Department to comply with its regulations. There were about 18,000 EB-5 visas wasted in the last fiscal year, no longer available unless Congress takes action. There should be over 11,000 immigrant visas available to EB-5 investors from the China-mainland, many of which may go to waste.
The lawsuit hopes to force the State Department to adhere to the language used in its regulations, ensuring the allocation of visas before the 2022 fiscal year ends and visas go to waste. The hope is to have the visas issued once a consular officer investigates the applicants. By doing this, the State Department would fulfill Congress’s intent to provide a specific number of visas annually. Instead, the plaintiffs in this lawsuit believe the State Department is impeding Congress’s efforts. In addition, this impediment is causing the plaintiffs’ children to age out of their chance to obtain a visa, unfairly lengthening the deployment time for their EB-5 investment capital needs.
One of the managing partners in the involved law firm stated that, if all the visas that Congress has mandated are issued, it will encourage other investors, and the wait would be shorter for those applicants still waiting. They also stated that the plaintiffs involved in this case had invested more than $100,000,000 into the economy of the United States and created thousands of jobs. Yet, they fail to receive a green card, and their children are aging out. Unless there is judicial intervention, the plaintiffs will have to wait years before receiving a green card while the government wastes thousands of visas. They also mention that the plaintiffs are trying to immigrate legally and have had their cases approved; therefore, the government’s lack of action in allocating the visas is inexcusable.
The co-council in the case has stated that many China-mainland-born nationals have been waiting for an immigrant visa because the consular has not been very productive in Guangzhou. However, the Department of State can allocate these visas without waiting for the interviews. Thus, they demand the allocation of visas by the end of the fiscal year because it is within the DOS’s power.
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