U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a new rule on July 24, 2019, that makes significant changes to the EB-5 investor rules. The final rule becomes effective on November 21, 2019. This rule marks the first significant changes made to the program since 1993.
Currently, the minimum investment amount is $1 million. This amount will increase to $1.8 million under the new rule to account for inflation since the amount has not increased since 1990. For targeted employment areas (TEAs), the minimum amount will increase from $500,000 to $900,000. These amounts now will adjust automatically for inflation every five years.
DHS will make changes to avoid gerrymandering of high-unemployment areas to create TEA eligibility. Individual states will no longer be able to designate specific geographic and political subdivisions as high-unemployment areas. Instead, DHS will limit the composition of TEAs using census tracts. The purpose of this revision is to ensure that TEA designations are done fairly and are genuinely reaching the populations who are most in need.
The other changes to the rule clarify the procedures that some derivative family members of EB-5 investors must follow to remove the conditions on their legal permanent residence. These procedures only apply to family members not included in the EB-5 investor’s petition to remove conditions. For instance, interview locations now will be more flexible. Immigrant investors with a previously approved EB-5 immigrant petition now may be able to retain the priority date of the previous petition.
Any I-526 petitions filed before the effective date of the new regulations will be adjudicated under the old rules. As a result, immigrant investors still may be able to obtain EB-5 visas under the lower investment amounts if they file their petitions before the effective date of the rule. The immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the immigration cases of countless individuals and businesses facing immigration-related issues. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf to get the outcome that you are seeking. Call our office today at (512) 399-2311 to set up an appointment with our immigration attorneys.