The EB-5 immigrant investor program was created by Congress in 1990 to help facilitate additional investment in the United States — particularly into rural areas and high unemployment areas. Through the EB-5 program, immigrant investors may be eligible to obtain a green card for themselves and their immediate family members by making a substantial, job-supporting investment in an approved commercial project.
In July, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published final rule changes to the EB-5 program. These reforms will officially go into effect on November 21st, 2019. Below, our Los Angeles immigration lawyer highlights the key things that you need to know about the updated EB-5 immigrant investor rules.
Three Important Changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
- The Minimum Investment Levels are Increasing
As a starting point, the minimum required investment to participate in the program is increasing by a significant amount. As of November 21st, 2019, the minimum required standard EB-5 investment will go up from $1 million to $1.8 million. As a result, the minimum required investment in a TEA-approved projected, which is 50 percent less, will rise from $500,000 to $900,000.
This is the first increase in the investment level in the history of the program. USCIS states that the increases are to adjust for inflation. It is also worth noting that automatic inflation adjustments are now built into the system. Every five years, the minimum required EB-5 investment will be altered to account for inflation. Most likely, this means that further increases will occur in the future.
- Targeted Employment Area (TEA) Designations Have Been Reformed
As was mentioned above, the minimum required investment is 50 percent less if the project is in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). This designation is reserved for areas that struggle to get investment and to create jobs. There have long been worries among policymakers that the TEA designation was being abused by American-based developers. As an example, the Hudson Yards development in Lower Manhattan was even classified as a TEA project through gerrymandering of census tracts. The new rules are designed to stop this practice. The federal government is using a new set of standards to ensure that TEA designations are applied in a fair and consistent manner.
- Immigrant Investors Will Be Allowed to Keep their Priority Date
Finally, the rule changes also offer some good news for some immigrant investors. Going forward, prospective EB-5 investor will be allowed to keep their original priority date, even if they need to submit a new EB-5 application. This offers some greater flexibility to investors. Though, this rule is subject to certain exceptions.
Get Help From an EB-5 Immigrant Investor Attorney in Los Angeles, CA
At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, our EB-5 immigrant investor lawyer is an experienced advocate for clients. We can help you navigate all aspects of the application process. To set up a completely confidential review of your case, please call us today at (213) 262-2000. We represent immigrants in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.