On July 23rd, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced sweeping new changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5 Program).
Created in 1990, the EB-5 Program makes it possible for foreign investors to immigrate to the U.S. if they invest in a venture that will either create or save 10 jobs designated for U.S. citizens.
According to USCIS, the new changes will be the first major updates to the EB-5 Program since its expansion in 1993.
To help explain the new rule, this post will give an overview of the four major changes coming to the Program.
1. Increases in investment amounts
The biggest change to the Program are the increases in the required investment amounts for all EB-5 projects.
Under the new rule, the minimum direct investment amount will increase from $1,000,000 to $1,800,000. For a targeted employment area (TEA), or indirect investment, the amount will increase from $500,000 to $900,000.
According to USCIS, the increases are meant to account for inflation.
2. Reforms to how targeted employment areas are designated
Changes will also come to how TEAs are designated, as USCIS plans to reform the designation process.
Under the new rule, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will “make such designations directly based on revised requirements in the regulation.” This reform will eliminate the “census tract-based” method of designating TEAs.
3. Procedural updates to the removal of conditions process
Under the new rule, certain family members of the immigrant investor will have to file a separate petition to remove the conditions on their legal permanent residence.
This change will not apply, however, to “family members who were included in a principal investor’s petition to remove conditions.”
This change will bring an extra step to the removal of conditions process to some investors and their family members.
4. Retaining priority dates
The new rule will not require investors with a previously approved EB-5 project to obtain a new priority date, in an effort to provide great flexibility to the Program.
When do these changes go into effect?
The changes are set to take effect on November 21st, 2019.
Between now and that date, however, the current EB-5 Program will operate as normal and anyone while begins the process now will be subject to the current rules throughout their process.
Therefore, if you are an investor who is interested in the EB-5 Program, you need to start the process now before the new changes take effect.
Are you interested in the EB-5 Program?
If you are interested in the EB-5 Program and need assistance navigating the overall process, contact us today at one of the ways below. We are here to assist every investor with their unique needs.
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Disclaimer: Nothing in relation to the enclosed information should be construed and or considered as legal advice for any individual, entity, case, or situation. The following information is prepared for advertisement use only. The information is intended ONLY to be general and should not be relied upon for any specific situation. For legal advice on your specific situation, we encourage you to consult an attorney experienced in the area of Immigration Law.