The Department of State’s Visa Office announced that the China employment-based fifth (EB-5) category became unavailable on August 23, 2014, and remained unavailable for the remainder of fiscal year 2014. The category again became current on October 1, 2014.
The Department noted that all China EB-5 applicants who had been scheduled for an interview at an overseas post based on the original establishment of the August and September cut-off dates would have been allotted visa numbers for potential use by their case. Such applicants would not be affected by the unavailability of the China EB-5 category for the remainder of FY 2014. In this context, the Department explained, “unavailable” meant that “no additional numbers are available for ‘comeback’ cases originally scheduled for interview in an earlier month who are now just returning, or for those just requesting an interview at this time.” The only exception would be if a post had “otherwise unused” numbers available, the Department noted, because applicants either failed to appear or failed to overcome a refusal during the month (i.e., August or September) of the originally scheduled interview.
The Department said in September that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices could continue to accept and process China EB-5 cases and submit them to the Visa Office in the normal manner, based on the cut-off dates announced in the August and September Visa Bulletins. However, instead of being acted upon immediately, those cases were to be held in the Visa Office’s “Pending Demand” file and then authorized effective October 1, 2014.