The EB5 Visa investment program had come a long way since its launch back in 1991. The program began as an imitative to stimulated the U.S economy and not only widely grew in popularity but proved a smashing economic success. Since Congress implemented the program roughly three decades ago, it has brought billions of dollars and millions of jobs into the United States. It’s also allowed us to stay competitive in a global economy.
However, it has undergone many changes over the years. Some of the most recent changes, though, remain the most pressing. In 2019 many of the EB5 visa requirements were amended, and sadly life became a bit more difficult for applicants around the world.
Two years later, those changes remain in place, and understandably, many are still confused on exactly what the new requirements for EB5 Visas are today. Perhaps even more concerning is that the future became uncertain this year for the EB5 visa program as a whole. Still, good news may lie in view as well.
So what does the landscape look like for EB5 visa requirements today? The road is a long and hard one, but here’s what we know so far.
New Rules and EB5 Visa Requirements You Must Know
In 2019 the rules and requirements for EB5 visas drastically changed, and many found themselves unprepared. First, there was some good news in the form of what could be called a “mercy rule” for then-current applicants. Under the new rules, if you filed an application before the changes in 2019, you would still be able to hold your place in line. If you filed your form before the new EB5 visa requirements went in place, you would still be allowed to apply for a new visa to meet the new requirements while still retaining your priority date.
Increase in Investment for EB5 Visa Requirements
Some bad news for investors has arrived in the form of drastic increases in the minimum requirements for the immigrant’s initial investment. Participants in TEA programs will see an increase from a minimum investment of $500,000 to $900,000. Meanwhile, direct investors will need to invest $1.8 million, up from $1 million, in order to meet the requirements for an EB5 Visa.
Investment amount requirements will also go up every five years to account for inflation.
Geographic TEA Designations
Your requirements for an EB5 visa may be affected by your investment project because the rules have changed who designates which areas are included in TEA program investments. While local and state governments once made these designations, this process will now be centralized into the Department of Homeland Security. This is likely to disrupt projects throughout the country as these regulations go forward. Critics have also said it may have an adverse effect on some urban development projects.
Could We See Expedited Processing?
Some have noted the slow process for EB5 investment visa approval as the demand for participation in the program grows and adjudication times remain slow. Part of this stems from immigration caps that can vary by the EB5 visa applicant’s country. Unfortunately, those caps also apply to the members of the immigrant’s immediate family. President Biden’s proposed bill would reportedly reclaim those visas and put an end to these EB5 visa barriers.
The U.S Citizenship Act would not only raise the family caps but would also exempt the spouses and children of green card holders quotas.
It’s hard to say if the act will pass with a divided congress and a tumultuous political climate. If it does, however, it could be a lifesaver for EB5 Visa applicants all over. Not only would it alleviate these quota barriers, but it would essentially clear the current backlog. This isn’t to say the road ahead will be easy, but it will certainly level the playing for EB5 foreign investors.
Are EB5 Visas Here to Stay?
Perhaps most worth considering as we mull over the requirements for EB5 visas as they seem to only grow and multiply is whether or not the program will survive. Once included in automatic omnibus bills, the EB5 investment visa program was sadly voted out of auto-renewal during the Trump years. Congress did vote to renew the program, but only until June of 2021.
A new bill to renew the EB5 investment visa program may be on the table, but it’s hard to say if it will pass. The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act does have bipartisan and growing support, however. The legislation would not only renew the program through 2024. It would also expand accountability measures for both the individual investors and the project managers themselves. More background checks would be required, but the good news is, it would expand the authority of DHS to process applications more quickly.
The EB5 Visa requirement process remains a difficult and uncertain road ahead, but they’re still is always hope.
Are you an EB5 Investor?
How will your investments or your application to meet the requirements for an EB5 visa be affected by the latest developments? Are you confused about the process or uncertain about the future yourself? The good news is, you don’t have to go through this alone. With how complex the immigration process was even before this chaotic political landscape came to be, no one should rely on their own expertise.
One misstep that leads to a failure to meet the requirements of an EB5 investment visa can cost you years and life-long fortunes. You need expert legal advice and guidance.
Fortunately, our team of professional attorneys aren’t just educated and trained in all the workings of the system and law; we’re also up to date on all the latest changes and developments. Best of all, we’re dedicated to your success. Whether your goals are purely for immigration or ensuring the maximum return on a profitable investment, we’re here to help you through the legal process.
Call us today at 800-403-8117, and we’d love to schedule a consultation with you as soon as we can.