Learn more about recent changes to EB-5, one of the five employment-based immigrant visa or green card programs in the U.S.
- The minimum investment amount has increased;
- Targeted Employment Area designations will be reformed;
- Investors will keep the priority date of a previously approved EB-5 petition under certain circumstances;
- USCIS procedures for the removal of conditions on permanent residence will be clarified and revisions will be made.
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program was created under the Immigration Act in 1990. The purpose of this program is to create jobs for US workers and to develop underserved areas known as ‘Targeted Employment Areas’ (TEAs). TEAs fall into two categories: rural areas with a population of less than 20,000 or high unemployment areas with an unemployment rate of 150% or more of the national average.EB-5 is one of the five employment-based immigrant visa or green card programs in the U.S. Immigrants invest a certain minimum amount of money into a project sponsored by a ‘Regional Center’. This investment should lead to permanent green cards for the investor, as well as for his or her spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.Regional Centers, like EB5 Capital, are designated by the USCIS and they sponsor EB-5 investment projects, such as real estate developments. In order to sponsor these projects, Regional Centers raise capital from investors overseas and then lend the money to developers who manage the development and overall construction of these projects. Regional Centers act as an intermediary between developers, investors and projects.“For several years, we anticipated the possibility of changes to the EB-5 program,” said President of EB5 Capital, Brian Ostar.“Over the past several months, our team has worked hard to maintain our strict due diligence process and after capital markets are stable, we will launch an attractive and safe project that qualifies under the new regulations. With the spread of the COVID-19 virus around the world, we expect our fundraising to decelerate this year. Yet this is also a period where families are revisiting their plans for emigrating to the United States. Historically, interest in the EB-5 program has flourished after recessions. I am optimistic that, once again, EB-5 will be called upon to help provide foreign investment throughout the United States to aid our economic recovery. Our firm is ready to answer that call.”
Modernising the EB-5 Program
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has decided to introduce a new rule to modernise the EB-5 program. The new rule contains four major changes.
1. Standard minimum investment amount has increased
Since the creation of the program in 1990, the cost has never been adjusted. With the new rule, immigrants will have to invest a standard minimum amount of $1.8 million, previously $1 million, for non-TEA projects, to account for inflation. Immigrants who want to invest in TEA projects will have to invest a minimum amount of $900,000, in order to account for inflation. The previously set minimum investment amount was $500,000. This means that there still is a difference of 50% between the minimum investment amount for a TEA and a non-TEA. These minimum investment amounts will change every five years, based on inflation. By investing in TEA or non-TEA projects, immigrants can get a green card.
2. TEAs are determined by Department of Homeland Security
The new rule also reforms TEA designations. TEAs will from now on be determined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), of which USCIS is a part, and no longer by state and local governments. This will help to redirect foreign capital more effectively to areas that need foreign investment.
3. Immigrants can keep priority date of previously approved EB-5 petition
Another change that was made is that there will be more flexibility for EB-5 petitioners. In most cases, immigrants will be able to keep the priority date of a previously approved EB-5 petition when they need to file a new one. This means that they can keep their place in the waiting line for the date on which USCIS will adjudicate their petition. As the waiting time can be a few years long, this change is an advantage for the investors.
4. Clarification of USCIS procedures for removal of conditions on permanent residence
Last but not least, USCIS procedures for the removal of conditions on permanent residence will be clarified, and technical and conforming revisions will be made. The revision of the rule states that conditional permanent residents who receive a green card, valid for two years, must file a petition to remove the condition during the 90 days before the green card expires. If the conditions are not removed, the person will lose his/her permanent residence. The aim of this change is to improve the adjudication process by offering flexibility in the interview locations. From now on, families can go to the nearest USCIS office in their neighbourhood.About EB5 Capital EB5 Capital is one of the oldest operating Regional Centers in the US. It owns USCIS-authorised Regional Centers that serve 14 states, most notably in California, New York, Oregon, and the District of Columbia. EB5 Capital raises capital from foreign investors to finance job-creating projects across the United States under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.EB5 Capital has 27 completed and current projects, and over 1,500 foreign investors from 65 countries. Most investors come from China, India, Vietnam, Russia, and Korea, but there are also a lot of investors from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, etc. All investors are eligible, along with their families, to become permanent residents of the United States by investing in qualifying U.S. businesses through the Regional Centers of EB5 Capital.Since EB5 Capital was founded in 2008, the mission has been to connect qualified investors with superior job-creating projects that satisfy all of the requirements of the EB-5 Visa Program.For more information: www.eb5capital.com
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