Come end of the year, and the popular EB 5 immigrant investor visa program will almost get doubly expensive.
From November 21st, 2019, foreign investors looking to gain permanent residency will need to shell out a minimum of $900,000 to qualify for the EB 5 visa. This is almost a 100 percent increase from $500,000, which was set earlier by the government in the 1990s.
The USCIS welcomes this much-awaited reform.
But, EB 5 immigrant visa aspirants will now have to rush to file their petitions before the new rules come into effect. Investors will also have to make haste to leverage the lower minimum investment requirements.
For example, the standard investment requirements will increase from $1 million to $1.8 million. While investors will continue to have control over the funds invested in their EB 5 projects they will have to create at least 10 new jobs.
“EB 5 immigrant visa aspirants will now have to rush to file their petitions before the new rules come into effect.”
Here’s what’s set to change…
USCIS Will Have Authority to Designate TEA
The minimum investment requirement continues to be lower for economically struggling regions. However, the authority to allocate Target Employment Areas will no longer lie with the local and state governments.
According to the new rules, the USCIS will now have the authority to determine and designate areas with TEA status.
Previously, every state could designate areas with unemployment as TEAs. This led to gerrymander the results to favor those regions which are popular with investors. Authorities could designate TEAs based on census tracts and misuse the provision for substantially lower investment requirements.
However, the new rules will make it difficult to give TEA status to urban neighborhoods where a majority of the most sought after EB5 projects were. Thus, USCIS will ensure the areas with substantially high unemployment and targeted rural areas benefit from the reduced investment threshold.
Minimum Investment Requirements Adjusted For Inflation
The previous minimum investment limits were set in 1993 by Congress. And they were never revised.
This reform seeks to increase the minimum investment limits from $500,000 to $ 900,000 for economically struggling regions and from $1 million to $1.8 million for areas outside economically struggling regions.
The revision is said to be on account of inflation.
Revision of Threshold Investment Requirements Every 5 Years
Further, the new rules provide for an automatic adjustment of the minimum investment amount every five years on account of inflation.
Separate Application for Derivative Family Members
The new rules seek to provide clarity on the condition of permanent residence for certain derivative family members. Such derivative family members include your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years. These lawful permanent residents will have to file Form I-829 independently to remove the conditions on permanent residence.
Family members included in the petition of the principal investor shall not have to file a separate form. Further, the new rules also provide greater flexibility for interview locations to issue green cards. This move seeks to improve the adjudicating procedure for EB5 investors.
Priority Date Retention
This is one of the most important features of the new EB5 rule. The priority date retention fixes the investor’s position in the queue to apply for the immigrant visa.
In a bid to offer more flexibility to EB5 investors, the new rules allow investors to retain their priority date of a previously approved petition.
This will benefit EB5 visa applicants who have to make amends to their petition for reasons that are beyond their control.
“The new rules allow investors to retain their priority date of a previously approved petition.”
Implications for Prospective EB 5 Visa Investors
With about three months before the new rules kick in, prospective EB5 investors will have to expedite their investments. As investors rush to leverage the existing minimum investment requirements, USCIS may see a surge in the EB 5 visa applications.
If you want to save $400,000, we recommend you file your EB 5 petition as soon as possible.
To know more about our EB5 project, The Allen, click here!
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EB 5 Program Raises U.S. Immigrant Investor Requirement to $900,000 in Q4 | Houston EB5 – Houston, TX