There are quite a few changes that are going to be made, many of which we will be discussing with you more in-depth down below. But, before we get into these changes that are set to occur in the coming months, let’s take a moment to review what the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is.
Back in 1990, Congress created the EB-5 Program as a way to “stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors” [Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)]. Then in 1992, the Immigrant Investor Program was born and set aside “visas for participants who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers approved by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.” In order for a foreigner to receive an EB-5 investor visa, he or she must meet the eligibility requirements, which by the way are being modified, as well as be able to provide the supporting documentation that is required of them.
In order to apply for an EB-5 visa, an investor must fill out Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur and submit it to the U.S. Department of State. He or she may then need to fill out and file Form DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration or Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. When an individual receives their EB-5 visa, they not only gain the opportunity to invest in a business, whether it is one that is already thriving or one that is experiencing financial difficulties, but it will also help them obtain their green card which could lead to them becoming a U.S. citizen.
What are some of the changes I can expect?
As the years have gone on and new politicians have taken office, more and more changes have been made to the various immigration laws the U.S. follows. In fact, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently published a new rule that will take effect starting November 21, 2019, that directly affects those seeking an EB-5 investor visa. According to USCIS, the following changes are set to occur which could make it more difficult for foreign investors to become a shareholder in a U.S. business:
- Minimum investment amounts have increased. Under the new rule,
- The standard minimum investment amount will increase from $1 million to $1.8 million to account for inflation.
- The minimum investment for a TEA (Targeted employment area) will increase from $500,000 to $900,000 to account for inflation.
- There will be future adjustments that will be “tied to inflation and occur every five years.”
- Changes will be made to TEA designations. These include:
- USICS will “now directly review and determine the designation of high-unemployment TEAS’s [and] will no longer defer to TEA designations made by state and local governments.”
- “Provided the TEA designation “has experienced an average unemployment rate of at least 150% of the national average unemployment rate, TEAs may now include cities and town with a population of 20,000 or more outside of metropolitan statistical areas.”
Tips for Foreign Nationals Who are Looking to Apply for an EB-5 Visa
- Act sooner than later. Forbes recommends that with the changes that are set to occur in a few months, you might want to consider filing your petition for your EB-5 visa now rather than wait until November when the proposed changes will take effect.
- Save yourself the time and frustration and hire an EB-5 visa attorney to help you fill out and file your Form I-526 petition package (yes, it’s a package, not just a form). Many individuals find that they are able to get through the paperwork and visa application process much easier when they have an experienced immigration attorney helping them. The Georgia immigration and visa attorneys at Kuck | Baxter Immigration Partners LLC can eliminate some of the work you would have to do, making the application process simpler and less stressful.
- If you plan on applying for a Green Card for yourself, your spouse, and your unmarried children, be prepared to:
- Invest in a commercial enterprise in the U.S.
- Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.
Now, if you’re interested in learning more about applying for an EB-5 visa or need more information regarding the changes that are expected to take effect, don’t hesitate to contact our firm and speak with one of our skilled immigration lawyers. We are here to answer any questions you have, assist you with applying for an EB-5 visa, or address any of your concerns. To speak with one of our immigration and visa attorneys in Atlanta now, give us a call at 404-816-8611.
Kuck | Baxter Immigration Partners LLC can be reached at:
365 Northridge Road, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30350