The U.S. State Department, Visa Office, will likely establish a cut-off date for the EB-5 China employment-based fifth preference category for investors during the second half of fiscal year 2013. The Visa Office noted that "[s]uch action would be delayed as long as possible, since while number use may be excessive over a 1 to 5 month period, it could average out to an acceptable level over a longer (e.g., 4 to 9 month) period." This would be the first time a cut-off date has been established in the EB-5 category, the Visa Office noted, explaining that this is why "readers are being provided with the maximum amount of advance notice regarding the possibility." The Visa Office reported that this advisory is based strictly on the current demand situation, and that demand patterns can change over time. Therefore, "this should be considered a worst case scenario at this point," the Visa Office said.

The Visa Office said that categories with a "Current" projection "will remain so for the foreseeable future," with the possible exception of the China employment fifth preference category mentioned above. Projected monthly forward progress for the employment-based categories are:

Employment First: Current

Employment Second:

Worldwide: Current

China: five to eight weeks/month

India: no movement  

Employment Third:

Worldwide three to five weeks/month

China: one to two months/month

India: up to two weeks/month

Mexico: three to five weeks/month

Philippines: one to three weeks/month  

Employment Fourth: Current

Employment Fifth: Current

The Visa Bulletin for December 2012 is available here.