Understanding the Changes Coming to the EB-5 Program
At American Life, Incorporated, our investors have seen the benefits of the EB-5 program for years – green cards for themselves and their families, returns on their investments in US businesses, educational benefits for their children, and a path to US citizenship. The program is still going strong, but there will be a few changes coming on November 21, 2019. Today, we’ll talk about those changes and how they can benefit the program and its investors.
Higher minimum investments. Currently, the minimum investment in a US business is $1 million or $500,000 if investing in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA, an area designated as more in need of jobs). Starting November 21, these amounts will increase to $1.8 million for standard areas or $900,000 for investment in a TEA. The reason for the increase is to adjust for inflation, since these minimums have not been changed since the inception of the program (1990). In the future, adjustments will be applied every five years, tied to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers at that time. Increases help to keep the program effective, because development costs and operating expenses increase over time, so investor contributions should increase as well to ensure businesses are viable.
Increased review of TEA designations. The US federal government will now directly participate in the review of TEA designations that were previously done by state and local governments. Criteria will be changed to include employment performance in adjacent areas and may add more cities with populations of 20,000 or more to the program that have high unemployment rates. This more intense review will help ensure that only those areas that truly need an economic boost receive investment from the program. Like the increases in minimum investments, a stronger TEA designation review strengthens the program and makes it more effective.
Procedure clarifications for permanent residence applications. New regulations going into effect on November 21 will clarify some more confusing rules about how the investors’ spouses and children file to remove conditions on their permanent residence status. These new rules include more flexibility regarding the location of required interviews and bring the rules more in line with modern processes used in issuing green cards. Clarifications make it easier for spouses and children to adhere to rules for the process to ensure that they don’t miss important deadlines.
Priority dates. When an investor files an I-526 form to apply for the program, the date of filing is considered a “priority date,” which is used to determine when the investor is eligible to file for permanent residency. With the new changes on November 21, some investors who file a new EB-5 petition will be able to keep the priority date from their previous petition.
Changes in the EB-5 program are designed to maintain its solid foundation as a positive program that benefits both the US economy and its workers and the investors and their families. Navigating through all these changes is easy with the help of an approved Regional Center like American Life, Incorporated. Contact us today to learn how the program can benefit you and your investment portfolio. You can reach us by contacting us online, calling us at 206-381-1690, or visiting our US office at 2710 S. Hanford Street, Suite 100, in Seattle, Washington or any of our international offices in Shanghai, Tokyo, or London.