New EB-5 Program Rules Start November 21: What To Expect
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has made significant changes to the Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5) through their establishment of new EB-5 modernization regulations. The EB-5 program permits individuals to apply for permanent residence in the U.S. if they make the necessary investment in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. and create 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. Regional Centers are economic enterprises designated by USCIS for participation in the Immigrant Investor Program.
The new EB-5 regulations will take effect November 21, 2019. Investors seeking to be “grandfathered” in under the old rules must file an I-526 petition with USCIS before the new regulation’s effective date.
New EB-5 Regulations: What to Expect
- Increases minimum investment amounts: The minimum investment in Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) increases from $500,0000 to $900,000 and from $1 million to $1.8 million in all standard areas. The final rule also provides that investment amounts are subject to additional increases every five years based on inflation.
- Changes how Urban TEAs are defined and designated: TEA designations will now be determined by the Department of Homeland Security, and state and local TEA determinations will no longer be accepted.
- Provides priority date retention for subsequent EB-5 investor petitions: The investor must have a priority date set by a previously approved I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur and be reapplying due a failing investment project, termination of a regional center, or a backlog of visa applications.
- Clarifies procedures for removing conditions on permanent resident status: This includes situations where dependent family members must file their own I-829, Petition to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status. Entrepreneur investors are initially granted conditional permanent resident status for two years, and must petition to have the conditions on status removed within a prescribed period.
EB-5 Regional Center Program
The current EB-5 Regional Center program has been extended through November 21, 2019, passed by Congress as part of a Continuing Resolution. This program extension date now coincides with the effective date of the new EB-5 regulations as listed above.
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