What is the EB 5 Program?
The EB 5 Visa was designed for individuals who invest in the US economy by creating jobs for a minimum number of employees, to receive a green card. The EB-5 program, also referred to as the Immigrant Investor Program, is set to sunset on September of 2015. The new bi-partisan imitative led by Senators Patrick and Leahy and Charles Grassley, aims to extend the bill, but does call for some significant changes to the program’s existing guidelines.
What Changes are Proposed?
Changes to Investment Amounts
Under the new proposed legislation, the minimum investment amount is set to increase from $500,000 to $800,000 for areas that have been designated as a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). The amount that needs to be invested in non-TEA areas would increase from $1 to $1.2 million.
Changes to Geographic Locations
A Targeted Employment Area has been narrowed to only cover areas that are both within a single census tract and have 150% of the national unemployment rate, a closed military base or a rural area. In stark contrast, the reform would require at least 50% of the jobs created to be within the TEA to qualify for the EB-5 visa program.
Changes to Implementation
The new bill includes sweeping changes to the way that the EB-5 program is monitored and how integrity of the program is insured. Larger fees to sponsoring regional centers to insure program integrity, along with increased oversight by USCIS are to be implemented as well.
While the newest legislation aims to extend the program, changes could be far reaching and should be carefully reviewed with a knowledgeable immigration EB-5 attorney. The EB-5 program calls for large investments and has quite a few new regulations, so specific expertise is a must. If you are working your way through the existing EB-5 program or transitioning to the latest versions, the Eb-5 immigration attorneys at David Hirson & Partners, LLP, can help you navigate this evolving legislation.