The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published a new regulation making some key changes to the EB-5 immigrant investor program. (Click here to see the regulation) Here are some highlights:
1. Increasing investment amounts – $900,000 or $1.8 million:
- Under current law, most EB-5 investors invest $500,000 USD to qualify for an EB-5 green card. The new regulation states that upon the effective date (November 21), investors who invest in so-called targeted employment areas (TEAs) must invest $900,000 USD. Investors who invest outside TEAs must invest $1.8 million USD.
2. Revising the standards for TEA designations:
- The new regulation restricts which parts of the country qualify as TEAs. The EB-5 project must be located in either a rural area or a high unemployment area, defined as an area with at least 1.5 times the national unemployment rate. Only census tracts immediately surrounding the project can count in determining the relevant unemployment rate. As a practical matter, this means that starting November 21, most investors will have to invest $1.8 million USD to get an EB-5 green card.
3. Clarifying USCIS procedures for removing conditions on permanent residence:
- The new regulation clarifies that certain family members who are lawful permanent residents must independently file to remove conditions on their permanent residence. The requirement would not apply to those family members who were included in a principal investor’s petition to remove conditions.
4. Allowing EB-5 petitioners to keep their priority date:
- The new regulation offers greater flexibility to immigrant investors who have a previously approved EB-5 petition. If they need to file a new EB-5 petition, they can keep the priority date of the previously approved petition, subject to certain exceptions.
As stated above, the new rule will take effect November 21. Potential investors considering an EB-5 investment at the $500,000 investment amount have about 100 days in which to act.
Miller Mayer will offer a free webinar on Tuesday August 6 at 2 pm ET to explain the new EB-5 regulation more fully and to advise potential EB-5 investors on what to do now, before the new regulation takes effect. To register, click here: https://millermayer.clickmeeting.com/navigating-new-eb-5-regulations/register.