What is happening with the EB-5 immigrant investor program?

Since 1990, the EB-5 immigrant investor program has allowed foreign investors to receive permanent residence for their family members by allowing them to invest money in approved businesses, which must create at least 10 full-time jobs.

The program had undergone several changes as announced in the so-called Modernization Rule under the Trump administration; however, due to a recent federal court decision, the Modernization Rule is now void and the processing of EB-5 immigrant investor program reverts to the “old” rules.  

So what does this mean for EB-5 immigrant investor applicants?

The key points to know are that:

  • Priority date retention is no longer available. That means you cannot retain the priority date of a previous, approved petition when filing a new petition. 
  • The minimum investment amount has returned to the original amount which is $500,000 for businesses located in a targeted employment area (TEA) and $1,000,000 for all other investments.
  • TEA classification can be determined by the state and local governments so a TEA letter from a government official can be sufficient evidence of a TEA.
  • Family members do not need to file their own petitions to remove conditions on the permanent residence. 

The USCIS has already agreed to apply these old rules stating, “we are applying the regulations in effect before Nov. 21, 2019, on this website and in the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 6, Part G, Investors. In addition, we again will accept the April 15, 2019, version of Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, because the Nov. 21, 2019, version of the form reflects updates from the now-vacated rule.”

In other EB-5 news, the congressional authorization for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program expired at midnight on June 30, 2021.  Until Congress reauthorizes this specific program, the USCIS  will reject any Form I-924 and Form I-526 applications related to this program that are filed after July 1, 2021.  In addition, the USCIS will not act on any pending petition or application.  If your pending I-526 application is based on the regional center program, it is likely on hold until Congress reauthorizes the program. This hold does not apply to I-526 applications based upon direct investment into a non-regional center entity. 

This article is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances.  For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration situation and options, including EB-5 immigrant investor visa, you are invited to call us at 214-494-8033, send us a text in chat box, or complete our contact form.

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