The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are all set to increase the minimum financial requirement for the EB-5 program, also known as the EB-5 investment program.
As per the new rules, the minimum financial investment for the Targeted Employment Area (TEA) rose to $900,000 from $500,000. The investment in other parts of the country has risen to $1,800,000 from earlier $1,000,000.
The TEA is an area that is classified as rural or has a high unemployment rate. Prior to this new ruling, American states had the power to designate geographical areas as high-unemployment areas. However, moving forward, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be making such designations based on revised requirements of TEA.
These new rules will go into effect in November. One can expect a surge in EB-5 applications until then when the financial barrier to entry is less. These changes come into the EB-5 program after nearly 30 years since the EB-5 program was first established. This is part of the latest immigration reform under the current President Trump administration.
This program is the most popular among the Chinese, whereby the wait time for a Green Card under EB-5 program exceeds a decade. This is primarily due to a country cap of 700 per year. The wait time for countries like India and Vietnam are about 2 years currently. We are yet to see how the new rules will affect the influx of EB-5 applicants in future.
Quick facts about the EB-5 program:
- United States Congress created the program in 1990
- 10,000 EB-5 visas are allotted per year
- Limit of 700 per country cap
- New changes go into effect Nov 21, 2019