The New EB-5 Program Changes
Significant changes are happening in the government sector of immigration. The Employment-Based Immigration Fifth Preference, better known as the EB-5, is getting a revitalization of its requirements from the Department of Homeland Security.
The EB-5 has been an active member of the United States immigration and green card program for 30 years. This program allows entrepreneurs, along with their spouses and children, to travel in and out of or reside in the United States. This particular visa can lead foreign investors and entrepreneurs in obtaining citizenship. According to the USCIS acting director, Congress created the EB-5 program to benefit U.S workers, aid struggling communities, and boost the economy. Over the course of these 30 years, the program has drifted away from its desired goals.
Since 1993, there have been no significant changes in the development of the EB-5. According to the U.S government, revisions would be researched and implemented every six months for the last three to four years. Congress was expecting changes that have not come to fruition until now!
On November 21, 2019, the final rule will be placed upon the EB-5. These rules will include raising minimum investment amounts, revision of standards for TEA designations, INS procedure changes for the removal of conditions of permanent residence, and allowance of EB-5 petitioners to keep their priority date under special circumstances.
What does this mean for foreign entrepreneurs and investors? These new guidelines will change how business plans are crafted. Business plans are vital to acquiring an EB-5 visa. They are extensive and need immaculate design. All the tricky parts need to be addressed. For example, according to the recent guidelines, E-85 investments cannot be used to acquire land for a particular business in a TEA zone. It can be used to purchase supplies and equipment to run the business. Because this is just one of the tricky parts of an EB-5, developing a business plan with a reputable service past is essential.
Joorney is a business plan writing company that offers services related to EB-5 applications. Direct investment business plans for EB-5 petitions are just one of their specialties. With a team of experts in accounting, writing, and most importantly, investment banking, we can give 100% customer service to any, and all that reach out to us. At Joorney, growth is supported. They understand the need for economies to grow in a global way. Bold entrepreneurs are sought after and welcome. Their purpose is to write a business plan that will lead to nothing but success for the entrepreneur.
Language divisions are not a problem for the experts at Joorney. Their staff is composed of multilingual agents. They also understand that time is of the essence at this moment. After November 21, 2019, new regulations will be enforced. If you are an entrepreneur or lawyer with a client needing an EB-5 business plan, contact Joorney today. Don’t wait. The time is now!
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The new rule modernizes the EB-5 program by:
- Providing priority date retention to certain EB-5 investors;
- Increasing the required minimum investment amounts to account for inflation;
- Reforming certain targeted employment area (TEA) designations;
- Clarifying USCIS procedures for the removal of conditions on permanent residence; and
- Making other technical and conforming revisions.
What You Need to Know
Priority date retention
- Certain immigrant investors will keep the priority date of a previously approved EB-5 petition when they file a new petition.
Increased minimum investments
- The standard minimum investment amount increases to $1.8 million (from $1 million) to account for inflation.
- The minimum investment in a TEA increases to $900,000 (from $500,000) to account for inflation.
- Future adjustments will also be tied to inflation (per the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, or CPI-U) and occur every 5 years.
Targeted employment area (TEA) designations
- We will now directly review and determine the designation of high-unemployment TEAs; we will no longer defer to TEA designations made by state and local governments.
- Specially designated high-unemployment TEAs will now consist of a combination of census tracts that include the tract or contiguous tracts in which the new commercial enterprise is principally doing business, including any or all directly adjacent tracts.
- Provided they have experienced an average unemployment rate of at least 150% of the national average unemployment rate, TEAs may now include cities and towns with a population of 20,000 or more outside of metropolitan statistical areas.
- These changes will help direct investment to areas most in need and increase the consistency of how high-unemployment areas are defined in the program.
Clarified procedures for the removal of conditions on permanent residence
- Specifies when derivative family members (for example, a spouse and children whose immigration status comes from the status of a primary benefit petitioner) who are lawful permanent residents must independently file to remove conditions on their permanent residence;
- Includes flexibility in interview locations; and
- Updates the regulations to reflect the current process for issuing permanent resident cards (Green Cards).
Class Action Member Identification Notice
On Nov. 30, 2018, in Zhang v. USCIS, No. 15-cv-995, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia certified a class that includes any individual with a Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, that was or will be denied on the sole basis of investing loan proceeds that were not secured by the individual’s own assets. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated these denials and ordered USCIS to reconsider the petitions.
If you believe you have received an I-526 denial solely on this ground and would like to identify yourself as a potential class member, please email USCIS.ImmigrantInvestorProgram@uscis.dhs.gov, using the subject line “Zhang Class,” and provide the following:
- Alien Number (if any)
- Date of birth
- I-526 receipt number (if available)
- Date of I-526 denial
- Copy of I-526 denial (if available)
Note: Identification as a potential class member is subject to USCIS verification and does not grant any immediate rights, as immigrant petitions must meet all eligibility requirements and the court’s decision is presently under consideration for appeal.
USCIS administers the EB-5 Program. Under this program, entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a Green Card (permanent residence) if they:
- Make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States; and
- Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.
This program is known as EB-5 for the name of the employment-based fifth preference visa that participants receive.
Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. In 1992, Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the Regional Center Program. This sets aside EB-5 visas for participants who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers approved by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.