EB-5 PROGRAM (USA):

This is a unique US-immigration program designed specifically for overseas investors who are interested in acquiring a Green Card to the United States.  

Investment Requirements

If the investment is located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) or qualified rural area, then the EB-5 applicant may invest a reduced amount of $900,000. EB-5 defines a high unemployment area as 150% of the national average unemployment level. A simple state’s letter that the area is a qualified high unemployment area is not sufficient it must be backed by verifiable statistical data the area qualifies.

The job creation requirement for every investor is ten new American jobs.

Each foreign national EB-5 Investor must create at least ten new full-time American jobs. If the investment is not located in an approved Regional Center the jobs must be directly within the specific entity that receives the EB-5 investment. If the investor uses a Regional Center to make the investment, the job creation requirement of ten jobs still exists; however, the investor may utilize both direct and indirect job creation to fulfil the USCIS job creation requirement. Additionally, the Regional Center may use reasonable economic methodologies to prove the indirect job creation.

Under a new rule published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, several changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program went into effect Nov. 21, 2019.

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 has increased to $1.8 million (from $1 million) to account for inflation.
  • The minimum investment in a TEA has increased 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

  • The new rule 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;
  • The new rule includes flexibility in interview locations; and
  • The new rule updates the regulations to reflect the current process for issuing Green Cards. 

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Website