Important Changes to EB-5 Visa Program

Practice Areas

By: Angelita Chavez-Halaka, Armando Escobedo, Gladys Gervacio

SUMMARY

On July 24, 2019, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. The final rule will create substantial changes to the program effective November 21, 2019.

What is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program?

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program provides qualified applicants with a pathway to conditional lawful permanent residence in the US provided they make a minimum investment, as defined by USCIS, to a US commercial enterprise and create, or preserve, 10 full-time positions for US workers.

What Are the Major Changes?

  • Increase in minimum investment amount from $1 million to $1.8 million
    • The investment amount will also increase from $500,000 to $900,000 for Targeted Employment Areas (“TEA”) to maintain the 50% minimum investment difference between a TEA and a non-TEA
    • The minimum investment amounts will automatically adjust every 5 years to account for inflation
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would be in charge of designating and determining areas of high unemployment based on revised requirements instead of the States
  • USCIS also clarifies that certain derivative family members must independently file to remove conditions on their permanent residence
  • EB-5 petitioners will generally be allowed to retain the priority date of a previously approved EB-5 petition when filing for a new EB-5 petition

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