The filing fees for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program and other U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) applications have remained the same for more than five years now. However, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently done a study and has decided that it is now time to raise the fees for certain USCIS applications.
Under the proposed changes, the filing fees associated with the EB-5 Investor Visa Program will see the most dramatic increases, with some fees increasing by as much as 186%. The most important changes relevant to an EB-5 filing and EB-5 financing are as follows:
I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor
The filing fee for Form I-526, the first application you need to file for the EB-5 visa, will be raised from $1,500 to $3,675.
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions
If you are familiar with the EB-5 process, then you know that after holding your green card for two years, you will be required to file what is called an I-829. Fortunately for investors, the fee for filing Form I-829 will not be raised from its current rate $3,750. Nor will the Biometrics Fee be changed from its current rate of $85.
I-924 Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigration Investor Program
The most dramatic fee increase associated with the EB-5 financing will be seen when filing Form I-924 to seek EB-5 Regional Center certification. This filing fee will be raised significantly from its current rate of $6,230 to $17,795.
I-924 Annual Certification of Regional Center
EB-5 Regional Centers are required to annually demonstrate continued eligibility by filing Form I-924A to maintain EB-5 Regional Center certification. Currently, there is no fee to file this form. However, under the proposed schedule increases, a new fee of $3,035 will be added to this filling.
How Should This Affect Your Decision to File?
According to the DHS, these fee increases are necessary in order to recover the total cost of offering these services to visa applicants and are scheduled to take effect in the fall of 2016. However, you should keep in mind that it may not be wise to rush into filing an EB-5 visa application now, simply in order to save money.
Obtaining an EB-5 visa will require you to make a significant investment that will have both immigration and financial implications for you and your family. So, whether or not the scheduled increase in EB-5 filing fees affects your decision to file, it is extremely important that you make this decision carefully before doing so.
Contact an Experienced EB-5 Lawyer
The importance of having an EB-5 application handled by an experienced EB-5 Lawyer who knows both the investment and immigration aspects of the process cannot be stressed enough. There are many stages to the EB-5 process and there are many things that need to be taken into account when filing an EB-5 application. So, if you are interested in obtaining an EB-5 visa to immigrate to the United States, feel free to visit us online or give us a call at +1-949-383-5358.