The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced revisions to the EB-5 foreign investor visa requirements. The announcement in the Federal Register on July 24, 2019, cited the need for both modernization and reform of the current program. The EB-5 green card changes become effective later this year, November 21, 2019.
The EB-5 program allows foreign nationals to invest in U.S. projects in exchange for priority processing of their green card applications. Individuals are eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence in the United States if they make the required investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States and create or preserve 10 full-time jobs for qualified United States workers.
The 5 announced changes to the EB-5 program are:
- Priority Date Retention:
This will allow investors to keep their place in line in the application process if they have to change their qualifying investment due to circumstances beyond their control
- Increases to the Investment Amounts:
An increase from $1 million to $1.8 million for standard investments and an increase from $500,000 to $1 million for investments in a targeted employment area (TEA)
- TEA Designations:
A shift in the authority for making TEA designations from states to DHS
- Removal of Conditions:
Clarification of rules regarding an investor’s derivative family members
- Miscellaneous Changes
With no age requirement or need for a U.S. sponsor, investment and employment-based EB-5 green cards are a popular choice for immigration because there are fewer restrictions compared to other green card categories. Currently, the minimum investment amount for an EB-5 foreign investor visa is $500,000 for investments in “Targeted Employment Areas” (TEAs), and from $1 million for non-TEA investments. The new regulations will increase the minimum investment amount to $900,000 in a TEA, and $1.8m for non-TEA. This amount will automatically increase every 5 years to adjust for inflation.
United States immigration laws are complicated and updated frequently. Mistakes in immigration applications can be costly and stressful and can result in denial of your petition or delays. An Immigration Simplified attorney can review your Green Card eligibility and guide you through the application process. We review your situation, provide you with the proper forms and help you submit your application. Contact us today to get started. Please contact our office or call us at (312) 883-9944.