Are You An Immigrant Investor? The New EB-5 Rules May Affect You
The EB-5 visa program is a popular way for foreigners to invest in the United States and obtain a green card. The program has been around for quite a while, but recent changes have made it even more attractive to investors, while also keeping it in touch with current times.
The new rules, which became effective on March 15, 2022, revise certain requirements for investment projects and regional centers seeking USCIS designation as an EB-5 immigrant investor program.
The New EB-5 Rule for Immigrant Investors
The new rule for EB-5 immigrant investors, which went into effect on March 15, 2022, raises the investment thresholds for Target Employment Area (TEA) infrastructure projects from $500,000 to $800,000, and for other EB-5 case types from $1 million to $1.05 million. The enterprise must also create 10 or more full-time jobs for U.S. workers within two years of the investor’s admission to the United States as a conditional permanent resident.
The USCIS stated that the higher investment thresholds will help to “more effectively target the program to its intended purpose of stimulating economic growth and creating jobs.” The agency also said that it will continue to “review and update” the TEA investment thresholds as needed in order to ensure that they remain appropriate.
The New EB-5 Regional Center Designations
Effective with the new rules, all EB-5 Regional Centers must pay an annual fee of $20,000 into an integrity fund. The RC investor (you) must also pay $1,000 into this fund when filing your I-526 (EB-5 visa) petition.
USCIS has instituted this new fee in order to help finance its efforts to audit all Regional Centers at least every five years. This increased level of scrutiny is necessary in order to ensure that all Regional Centers are operating in accordance with the law and that none are taking advantage of the EB-5 program for their own benefit.
While some may view this new fee as an unnecessary burden, it is important to remember that it is only being levied on those entities that stand to gain the most from the immigrant investor program.