In an effort to modernize, USCIS has recently made important changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program that go into effect as of November 21, 2019. For interested applicants, these new changes will be important to know before applying.
USCIS has made a few major reforms such as:
- Increasing the required minimum investment amounts as to account for inflation (based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, and will occur every 5 years)
This means that the standard minimum investment will increase from $1 million to $1.8 million as of November 21, 2019. For investors looking into Targeted Employment Areas (TEA), the minimum investment has increased from $500,000 to $900,000. This new threshold is very important to know before proceeding with the investment program.
- Reforming certain targeted employment area (TEA) designations
USCIS will now directly oversee and review the designation of Targeted Employment Areas. This is a major change, as the role of designating TEA was left to the state and local government. In addition, the range of cities and areas that can be eligible for TEA status has been broadened. USCIS believes these changes will help provide employment opportunities to communities that need them most.
- Clarifying USCIS procedures for the removal of conditions on permanent residence
USCIS wants to make it clear that when spouses and children of EB-5 investors file for a removal of conditions on permanent, they must file separate forms. In addition, USCIS has stated that they will make the interview locations more flexible and accommodating.
- Providing priority date retention to certain EB-5 investors
This means that for certain EB-5 investors who qualify will retain the priority date of a previously approved EB-5 petition, upon filing a new petition.
Even though some changes like the increased minimum investments may preclude some from applying, the EB-5 program is still a great way to both expand a business while obtaining an US visa. The EB-5 program gives investors exposure to new markets in the US, while opening the possibility of living in the U.S.
These are all the important changes that have gone into effect. These changes have been made to accommodate and modernize the investor immigration process as 2020 fast approaches. For those that think this program may be right for you, seeking legal counsel is highly advised.
This is an immigration legal blog. It is not intended to be used as legal advice.
For further information please contact the law offices of attorney Ramona Kennedy.
Kennedy (Attorney) received her Jurisprudence Doctorate in America and is a
licensed attorney in California (USA). Ramona Kennedy is a member of American
Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Ramona Kennedy is fluent in English and
Farsi (reading & writing) & speaks Azeri Turkish.
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