By: Coleman Jackson, Attorney, Certified Public Accountant
October 11, 2019
The United States Congress first established the EB-5 immigrant visa classification in 1990 by enacting Public Law 101-649, 104 Stat. 4978. The stated purpose of the law was to encourage foreign investors to make capital investments in the United States to grow the economy and employ Americans and others authorized to work in the United States. In return the foreign investor could apply to become a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States. The basic fundamentals of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program have not materially changed since its inception; until now!
On Wednesday, July 24, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security published rules that will materially change the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program. The changes go into effect on November 21, 2019. Department of Homeland Security’s stated reasons for implementing the changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program: the rule changes “amends the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations governing the employment based fifth preference (EB-5) immigrant investor classification and associated regional centers to reflect statutory changes and modernize the EB-5 program.” The overall goal of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is the same as they were in 1990; the Final Rule states;
“In general, under the EB-5 program, individuals are eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence in the United States if they make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States and create or, in certain circumstances, preserve 10 full-time jobs for qualified United States workers.”
Some of the more significant changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program are as follows:
- An EB-5 immigrant petitioner can use the priority date of an approved and unrevoked prior petition in the same classification for which the investor qualifies.
- The standard minimum investment is raised to $1.8 million from the $1.0 million set in 1990.
- The minimum investment is raised to $900,000 from the $500,000 set in 1990 for TEA (rural areas or areas with unemployment of at least 150% of the national average).
- TEA areas are no longer to be defined by the States; and DHS is taking a more active role in the methodology in TEA designations.
These are a summary of the major changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program that will take effect on November 21, 2019.
This law blog is written by the Taxation | Litigation | Immigration Law Firm of Coleman Jackson, P.C. for educational purposes; it does not create an attorney-client relationship between this law firm and its reader. You should consult with legal counsel in your geographical area with respect to any legal issues impacting you, your family or business.
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