The EB-5 program has undergone significant changes during 2022 due to the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act. This new legislation reauthorized the lapsed Regional Center Program alongside major changes to minimum investment amounts and other requirements.
For some background, the program came about in 1990 to encourage job creation and capital investment by foreign national investors. It does this by offering a pathway to permanent resident status by directly making qualified investments in a US enterprise or through an approved third-party intermediary known as a Regional Center.
A Regional Center is an economic unit a public or private entity can operate. Investors must create the minimum required number of jobs when investing directly. In addition, indirect job creation counts in the minimum requirement when financing through a Regional Center. However, in July 2021, the Regional Center program expired.
On March 15th, 2022, the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act revived the program by reauthorizing Regional Centers through September 2027. It also made significant changes to the minimum investment amounts. The minimum investment amount is now $1,050,000, and an investment in a Targeted Employment Area is $800,000.
Another significant change is that EB-5 investors can file for an adjustment of status concurrently with an EB-5 petition. For example, suppose an immigrant visa is open under the EB-5 quota. In that case, an investor may file their adjustment of status application concurrently with their petition. This change enables them to remain in the US lawfully while attempting to acquire permanent residence status.
This new legislation also made changes to increase the transparency of the process. Under this act, EB-5 promoters must register with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before performing any promotional activities. In addition, EB-5 petitions must also disclose all fees and payments made to “agents, finders, or broker-dealers.” Finally, a copy of the written agreement must be retained and provided to USCIS for review upon request.
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