Changes to EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Announced by USCIS

USCIS has announced changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program that will go into effect November 21, 2019.

The changes will include:

  • Raising the minimum investment amount from $1M to $1.8M.  This increase is the first made since 1990. The final rule also provides for an automatic adjustment for inflation every 5 years; The minimum investment for targeted employment areas (TEAs) vs non-TEA remains at 50%, as such, the minimum investment will increase from $500,000 to $900,000 for investments in TEAs.
  • Revising the standards for certain targeted employment area (TEA) designation and eliminating the state’s ability to designate certain geographic and political subdivisions as high-unemployment areas. The final rule gives DHS responsibility to make such designations directly based on revised requirements in the regulation limiting the composition of census tract-based TEAs ;
  • Clarifying USCIS procedures for the removal of conditions on permanent residence for dependent family members; and
  • Allowing EB-5 petitioners to retain their priority date under certain circumstances.

The EB-5 (sometimes known as the “million dollar Green-Card”) is an option for foreign investors who wish to obtain permanent residence in the U.S. for themselves (and their dependent family members) and are able to make an investment of at least $1 million ( $1.8 Million effective November 21, 2019) (or $500,000 in certain cases ( $900,000 effective November 21, 2019) into the business, and creation of employment for at least 10 full-time U.S. workers. USCIS also offers additional benefits for foreign investors who invest through a Regional Center, designated to develop economic growth in certain target areas.