This past week the Department of Homeland Security published the anticipated and impactful new EB-5 regulations (EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization; https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-07-24/pdf/2019-15000.pdf). Some of the most significant changes to the program include:
Minimum Investment Amounts. The minimum investment amounts will increase on November 21, 2019. For investments that are in Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs; rural areas outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area with a population of 20,000 or more; or an area with an unemployment rate of 150% of the national average), the amount increases from $500,000 to $900,000. For those outside TEAs, it goes from $1,000,000 to $1,800,000. These amounts will further be automatically adjusted for inflation every five years.
Priority date retention. EB-5 petitioners who need to file new EB-5 petitions will generally, with certain exceptions, be able to retain the priority date from a previously approved EB5 petition.
TEA designations. The Department of Homeland Security will now be directly responsible for managing TEA designations. This means that states will no longer be able to combine geographic or political subdivisions to include both prosperous locations with distressed areas in order to capture high unemployment rates and thereby achieve a TEA designation with a lower investment requirement. This will undoubtedly result in many current TEA investments as no longer eligible for a TEA designation and thus, no longer eligible for the lower minimum investment amount.
These regulations will apply to all petitions filed on or after November 21, 2019. Any complete petitions filed and received by the government prior to November 21, 2019 will not be subject to the new rules. If you are interested in immigrating through the EB-5 program, I encourage you to schedule an appointment as soon as possible and before these new regulations go into effect. Please reach out to our Client Relations Coordinator to get on my calendar as soon as possible: email@example.com or call our toll-free number at 1-866-690-1844.
by Ruth Lozano McChesney