After months of uncertainty about minimum investment requirements, Regional Center Program reauthorization, and the continuation of the program, the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 has put the visa right back on track.
The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022
The law contains the following changes and modifications to the EB-5 visa program:
The Behring decision that suspended the EB-5 Modernization Rule has been reversed and the increase in minimum investments has now become a part of the statute. The minimum investment to qualify for the EB-5 visa is $800,000 for projects in Targeted Employment Areas and $1.05 million for non-TEA projects.
Regional Center Reauthorization
The law has reauthorized the Regional Center program that had lapsed on June 30, 2021. The RC program will be back in force with effect from May 15, 2022. Significantly, the RC program has been extended through Sept 30, 2027, after a series of temporary and stop-gap extensions.
The law has also introduced a new quota for applicants investing in rural areas, high unemployment areas, and infrastructure projects.
The quota will apply to the 10,000 EB-5 visas released annually:
- 20 percent of the total visas for those investing in a rural area.
- 10 percent for those investing in a high-unemployment area.
- 2 percent for those investing in an infrastructure project.
Unused visas in the quota will be carried forward to the next year.
This reduces the negative impact of the hike in minimum investment for TEA projects. For applicants from countries with high backlogs, like China and India, the quota may be the easiest way to jump the line and qualify for the EB-5 visa.
The reauthorization of the Regional Center program mitigates the risk that is otherwise present in the case of direct investments in a commercial enterprise in a rural or high unemployment area.
Going ahead, investors are likely to see more Regional Centers focusing on quota-centric projects, especially the infrastructure projects.
Finally, the law mandates the DHS to prioritize the processing of EB-5 petitions for rural projects.
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The law restores the changes made by the Modernization Rule to the TEA designation process. The DHS is the sole authority that can designate high unemployment areas for TEA purposes and such a designation will be valid for a period of two years.
This is a significant change introduced by the law. Going ahead, children of EB-5 investors will not age out automatically after they turn 21.
The children are protected as long as the principal investor is a permanent resident, the child remains unmarried, and the investor files petition for the child’s status in the US within one year of the end of their conditional status.
This law marks the end of a tumultuous period for EB-5 investors. On the negative side, the US green card has become costlier. But the positives – including RC reauthorization, the quotas, and new Aging Out rules – and the end of uncertainty surrounding the program will definitely bring cheer to wealthy investment immigrants across the world.General Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
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