fbpx What EB-5 applicants should do as visa costs soar almost 200%

What EB-5 applicants should do as visa costs soar almost 200%

February 22, 2024 / Hursh

In a landmark announcement by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), prospective EB-5 visa holders are facing the most significant change since 2016. Effective April 1, 2024, USCIS will implement fee adjustments across a range of immigration and naturalization benefits, directly affecting the EB-5 Investor Visa process. This move is poised to reshape the financial planning and investment strategies for individuals aiming for US permanent residency through investment.

Understanding the Fee Increase
The upcoming adjustments will see significant increases in the fees for key forms associated with the EB-5 visa. The I-526/I-526E Immigrant Petition by Standalone/Regional Center will see a surge from $3,675 to $11,160, marking a 204% increase. Similarly, the I-829 Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions will rise from $3,750 to $9,525, a 154% increase. Cumulatively, excluding other potential costs, the total EB-5 Visa cost will escalate from $7,425 to $20,685, an increase of 178%.

Form / Visa Cost Current Fee (USD) Proposed Fee (USD) Amount of Increase (USD) Percentage of Increase (%)
I-526/I-526E Immigrant Petition by Standalone/Regional Center 3,675 11,160 7,485 204%
I-829 Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions 3,750 9,525 5,775 154%
Total EB-5 Visa Cost (*excluding other potential costs) 7,425 20,685 13,260 178%*

The Financial Implication
These fee adjustments represent a significant uptick in the overall cost of obtaining an EB-5 visa post-April 1st, 2024. With the primary forms I-526/I-526E and I-829 accounting for an additional $13,260, the urgency for potential investors to finalize their applications under the current fee structure has never been more pronounced.
Navigating the Investment Process
For Indian investors, leveraging the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) set by the Reserve Bank of India becomes a strategic advantage. The LRS permits annual remittances of up to $250,000 per financial year, ending March 31. To effectively align with the $800,000 investment requirement for the EB-5 visa, investors are advised to maximize their LRS limit before the fiscal year-end, allowing for an immediate subsequent remittance with the onset of the new fiscal year on April 1. This timing not only ensures compliance with the LRS but also strategically positions investors ahead of the USCIS fee increase, optimizing financial efficiency and cost savings.

Immediate Actions for Prospective EB-5 Investors
Considering the forthcoming fee increases, acting swiftly to take advantage of the current fee structure is advisable. This not only entails financial savings but also strategic positioning in terms of investment remittance and application processing. For personalized guidance and to navigate the investment process efficiently, reaching out to immigration and investment experts can facilitate a seamless transition towards achieving US permanent residency goals.

The USCIS fee adjustments mark a critical juncture for EB-5 visa applicants, underscoring the need for strategic financial planning and prompt action. By understanding the fee increases, leveraging strategic investment timelines, and seeking expert advice, prospective investors can navigate these changes effectively. The time to act is now, to secure a future in the United States under the current, more favourable fee structure before the April 1, 2024, deadline.

This article was originally posted by The Economic Times

Authored By Nicholas Mastroianni III, President and Chief Marketing Officer, US Immigration Fund

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