Many of the mainland China born EB-5 investors recently noticed that they no longer had access to the National Visa Center (NVC) online platform for the purposes of immigrant visa fee bill payment, access to immigrant visa (DS-260) applications, as well as other functions. NVC has confirmed that it is using the Dates for Filing Chart (Chart B) of the monthly Visa Bulletin to initiate case processing. Because October’s Visa Bulletin shows that for mainland China born EB-5 investors Chart B current priority dates are June 14, 2014 and earlier, NVC indicated that it would not be processing those cases with priority dates later than that indicated in Chart B of the October 2016 Visa Bulletin.

This change in the processing of the immigrant visa applications for mainland China born EB-5 investors by NVC has resulted in the inability of many to proceed with the preparation of DS-260 applications that had been initiated prior to this processing change, as well as the inability to pay the immigrant visa fee bills, complete the DS-260 applications, or to receive from NVC confirmations that all of the documents in connection with the DS-260 application have been received. Per NVC instructions, in the month of October, only those mainland China-born applicants whose priority date is June 14, 2014 or earlier are able to proceed with immigrant visa processing upon being contacted by NVC, and each month NVC will reach out to those applicants who fall within the cut-off dates within Chart B of the Visa Bulletin. Importantly, for those cases that were previously filed to NVC but are no longer available for processing based on Chart B cut-off dates, NVC indicated that it would issue notices confirming receipt of the application and materials.

In addition, the State Department confirmed that it is working toward modernizing its online platforms and has pointed to the Spring of 2016 as a target to go live on a completely new portal which will incorporate all of the separate online elements currently available, such as visa fee bill payment, DS-260 submission, case status look up, and many other elements.