Major Changes to the EB-5 Visa Program

Foreign investors who meet criteria of the EB-5 program can apply for conditional lawful permanent residence in the United States if they make a substantial investment in a U.S.-based commercial enterprise. The enterprise the petitioner invests in must either create or preserves 10 permanent full-time jobs for U.S. workers.

Last month, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Because these are the first changes to the EB-5 visa program since 1993, it is important to know what regulations will go into effect when these changes become official on November 21, 2019.

The most significant changes EB-5 holders and petitioners need to know about are:

  • Minimum investment amounts will be raised from $1 million to $1.8 million. This will also include automatic adjustments for inflation every five years.
  • Certain targeted employment area (TEA) designations will fall under a revised criteria that will be directly managed by USCIS. Under the revisions, the state can no longer designate certain geographic and political subdivisions as high-unemployment areas. Instead, DHS will decide using revised requirements that limit the number of census tract-based TEAs.
  • USCIS will clarify its procedures for removing conditions on permanent residence. Derivative family members who are lawful permanent residents will now have to independently file to remove conditions on their permanent residence.
  • EB-5 petitioners will be allowed to retain their priority date if they have a previously approved petition.

Are you trying to apply for a visa under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program? Do you have questions about the immigration process? Then call Kanu & Associates, P.C. today at (602) 353-7795 to request your consultation.

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