New EB-5 Visa Regulations
Latest Update – As declared by United States Citizenship & Immigration Services on July 24, 2019, the anticipated final rule has taken effect on Thursday, November 21, 2019. The minimum EB-5 investment amount has increased from US$500,000 to US$900,000 plus the processing overhead cost, legal and filing fees for the project which is located in a TEA. For the project not located in a TEA, the amount has increased from US$1 million to US$1.8 million plus the processing overhead cost, legal and filing fees.
United States authorities have announced the increased value of EB-5 investments to $900,000 and $1.8 million from November 21, 2019. The Final Rule published on July 24, 2019 cites a significant increment in EB-5 investment value. The Federal Register is set to renew EB-5 regulations. Targeted Employment Areas (TEA) will now be certified by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) including the procedure for removing conditions on permanent residency. This is the first alteration made in the program’s rules since 1993.
Following are the revised and added regulations investors must take note of before investing in an EB-5 project:
The Increased Investment Amounts
Investment amounts for EB-5 investors in TEAs have been increased from $500,000 to $900,000 plus the processing overhead cost, legal and filing fees. For the non-TEA areas, the amount has increased from $1 million to $1.8 million plus the processing overhead cost, legal and filing fees. These amounts are said to be comparatively lower than the first proposed regulation.
TEA Designation Reforms
Now onward, TEAs will be assessed and designated by the Department of Homeland Security based on a geographical and economic evaluation. This is to avoid gerrymandering or manipulating the boundaries of an electoral constituency. The Final Rule states that the state will be replaced by DHS based on the revised requirements. TEA designations will thus be done fairly this way and cater to the areas in the most need of investment.
Increase in Investment Amounts Every 5 Years
Investment amounts will be raised or adjusted every 5 years considering economic aspects like inflation. This way, the stakeholders can predict the economic fluctuations and tailor business plans accordingly without having to approach DHS for determination.
Clarification of USCIS procedures for the removal of conditions on permanent residence
The revised regulations state that certain derivative family members are required to file removal of conditions on their permanent residence. This will not be applicable for the members mentioned in the principal investor’s petition to remove conditions. The rule provides more flexibility for interview locations and adopting current USCIS procedures for issuing Green Cards.
Retention of Previous Priority Dates
Those who have a previously approved EB-5 immigrant petition are allowed to retain the date of their previously approved petition when they are required to file a new petition. Note that this is subject to certain expectations.
The Final Rule will be effective after 120 days from the date of its publication in Federal Register. Investors can make use of this opportunity to invest under current regulations as they will benefit monetarily. The investors who will file I-526 petition before or on the effective date will be exempted under the current rules including the investment amounts of $500,000 and $1 million.
The original announcement of the final rule was published on USCIS website.
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