EB-5 Visa Regional Center Program Extended Through September 2027

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By: Kirti Kalra

The EB-5 Regional Center Program has been officially extended through September 30, 2027 by Congress’s EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022. The policy also increases the minimum investment required EB-5 visas, and sets aside part of the annual EB-5 immigrant visa quota for rural areas, high unemployment areas, and infrastructure projects. The law is a part of the fiscal year 2022 federal appropriations legislation that was recently signed by President Biden.

EB-5 regional center applicants  

The EB-5 Regional Center Program had suspended operations on June 30, 2021, when its congressional authorization initially expired. Now that the program has been reinstated, any previously pending cases will be processed. The new law clarifies that no applicant will be denied simply because of program expiration and the agency will allocate a certain number of immigrant visas to regional center petitioners. Under the new expiration date, the program will apply for all cases filed before September 30, 2026.

Investment Minimums  

The law will increase the minimum investment amount from $1,000,000 to $1,050,000 for EB-5 projects. Additionally, the investment in targeted employment areas (TEA) will increase from $500,000 to $800,000.

The law specifies that starting on January 1, 2027, and every five years subsequently, the minimum investment for standard EB-5 projects will be subject to increases as determined by the Consumer Price Index. Similarly, TEAs and infrastructure projects will see an increase of 60% of the standard investment minimum in the same timeframe.

eb-5 immigrant visa distribution 

The law will allocate 32% of the annual EB-5 immigrant visa quota for certain subcategories of the EB-5 visa, including:

  • 20% for foreign nationals investing in rural areas.
  • 10% for petitioners investing in high unemployment areas as defined by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • 2% for individuals investing in qualifying infrastructure projects as administered by a federal, state, or local government entity.

Unused visas in any of the above categories will carry over to the following fiscal year. If they are not used in the succeeding fiscal year, they will be added back to the general EB-5 quota in the next fiscal year.

additional takeaways

  • EB-5 petitions and green card applications can be filed simultaneously. Applicants filing for an EB-5 immigrant visa or those who have an EB-5 application currently pending may also file an adjustment of status application.
  • Priority processing will be given to EB-5 petitions for investment in rural areas.
  • Regional centers will see an increase in monitoring and enforcement, including regular audits and recordkeeping responsibilities. Additionally, an annual fee of $20,000 for regional centers with more than 20 investors or $10,000 for regional centers with 20 or fewer investors will be allocated to the EB-5 Integrity Fund.
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be given the sole authority to designate TEAs. Previously state and local government authorities were permitted to make these designations. A similar regulation giving DHS the authority to designate TEAs was struck down by a federal court in 2021.
  • Foreign investors will be required to pay an additional $1,000 fee for the EB-5 Integrity Fund.
  • Good-faith investors will be permitted to complete the permanent residence process if the EB-5 entity or regional center is terminated or debarred, of if the Regional Center Program is terminated in the future.

conclusion 

The new law officially extends the EB-5 program until 2027. For assistance in applying, or case-specific questions, please contact your trusted Chugh, LLP immigration professional.

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