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Proposed EB-5 Reform: Cut Visa Waiting Lists & Raise Minimum EB-5 Amount

On May 17th, 2019 EB-5 industry leaders wrote a letter for action to U.S. Senate and House leaders from both parties to authorize EB-5 reform. The major recommendations in the letter include an increase in the minimum investment amount to $800,000 USD as well as counting one EB-5 visa per family versus one per family member – which would drastically alleviate country-specific backlog. The proposal also endorses the extension of the EB-5 program for six years to alleviate the previous cycle of short or annual extensions.

Based on inflation since the creation of the program in 1990, the proposal includes an increase in the minimum investment amount from $500,000 to $800,000 for investments located in Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs). Non-TEA investment amounts would drop from the current investment amount of $1,000,000 to $900,000 based on the outline.

Lowering the EB-5 visa count to one visa per family would allow eligible family members to apply under a single visa would have the most significant impact on the greatest problem within EB-5: years long backlog/waiting list for investors from certain countries, such as Mainland China. This proposed change would significantly lower waiting times from 7 to 15 years down to about 3 years.

Extending the EB-5 program for six years not only bypasses the tedious short extensions, if enacted the extension would allow for grandfathering of all pending petitions under the old investment amount of $500,000 for investment in TEAs. EB-5 leaders also propose one year of transitional investment levels with EB-5 regional center investments in TEAs at $650,000 instead of immediately jumping to $800,000.

U.S. Immigration Fund (USIF) is America’s leading EB-5 Regional Center operator with world-renowned investment opportunities from New York City to California and 6,000 clients from across the globe. We will continue to keep our current and future investors updated on the proposed changes alongside one of our attorney partners, Donoso & Associates.

USIF has approved Regional Centers located in the world’s most thriving metropolitans, USIF provides worthwhile opportunities for foreign investors and their families to obtain permanent U.S. residency through the EB-5 Program. Each year, the U.S. government allocates 10,000 visas for foreigners who invest through the Program. These initiatives enjoy full government support as they stimulate the economy, generate at least ten jobs per investment, and promote community development while providing access to green cards for foreign investors and their families.