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  • Writer's pictureB&G

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is Back!

Great news for foreign nationals interested in the EB-5 green card program: it is back! Almost eight (8) months after the EB-5 program lapsed in June 2021 due to lack of authorization by Congress, the EB-5 program has been reauthorized by Congress with some notable changes.

What is EB-5?

EB-5 is an immigrant visa investment program which allows foreign nationals

to invest into the U.S. economy and, in return for their investment, obtain Lawful Permanent Resident (“green card”) status. There are 10,000 EB-5 visas available each Fiscal Year. In order to qualify for the EB-5 program, a foreign national must make a substantial investment, either directly in a job- creating business or through Regional Centers approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to promote economic growth in designated areas.

Does the new bill introduce any changes?

Yes, the recent bill introduced some notable changes, including increasing the investment amounts for EB-5 participants to $800,000 for investments in Targeted Employment Areas (“TEAs”) and $1,050,000 for non-TEAs.

The bill also includes a statutory definition for TEAs, which now include high unemployment areas, rural projects, and infrastructure projects. Understanding this definition is critical because a certain number of EB-5 immigrant visas will be reserved for projects in TEAs and such projects will qualify for the lower investment threshold.

  • Going forward, the Department of Homeland Security has sole authority to designate areas as high unemployment areas where the unemployment rate in a given census tract (or contiguous census tracts) is no less than 150% of the national average unemployment rate.

  • The bill defines rural projects as those that are outside of a metropolitan statistical area or within the boundary of any city or town with a population of 20,000 or more.

  • Infrastructure Projects are defined as a “capital investment project” administered by a “governmental entity” that serves as the “job-creating entity” which receives capital from EB-5 investors, and contracts with a regional center

Furthermore, EB-5 applicants may now concurrently file EB-5 petitions with Form I-485 Adjustment of Status applications. This will enable EB-5 applicants to obtain employment and travel authorization while their EB-5 cases are pending. The EB-5 program will now be subject to increased monitoring and enforcement, including regular audits and enhanced record keeping obligations for Regional Centers.

What should I do now if I am interested in EB-5?

If you are interested in pursuing a green card through the EB-5 program, you should reach out to an immigration attorney to discuss options, fees, timelines, and other pertinent information.


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