President Trump and Congress have extended the EB-5 Regional Center visa program through December 8, 2017, without any changes. Legislation hammered out by Trump and Congressional leaders to provide disaster relief, suspend the U.S. debt ceiling, and extend government funding included extending EB-5.
Under the EB-5 program, a foreign national and her or his family can get green cards by investing $1 million in a regional center that creates at least 10 full-time jobs. A regional center is a business—often a real-estate project—approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the regional center is located in a rural or high unemployment area, a foreign national only needs to invest $500,000.
Although the EB-5 program remains the same now, many observers believe some version of EB-5 reform will come this fall.
On the legislative side, Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas is working on an EB-5 visa reform bill. Cornyn’s draft bill would reduce the minimum investment to $925,000 from $1 million. However, it raises the minimum investment in a rural or high unemployment area to $800,000 from $500,000. In addition, Cornyn’s bill would increase the number of EB-5 visas available by excluding visas for spouses and children from the annual cap.
Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security may finalize the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization program regulations proposed in January. The proposed changes included:
- Increasing the minimum investment amount in a rural or high unemployment area to $1.35 million from $500,000. Elsewhere, increases the minimum investment to $1.8 million from $1 million.
- Allowing EB-5 petitioners to retain priority dates of previously approved petitions to avoid processing delays.
Currently, USCIS is issuing EB-5 regional center visas to foreign investors from all countries except China, according to the October 2017 Visa Bulletin. Take a look at a previous blog post on how to choose a regional center or contact us if you need assistance.
We Can Help
Remember, it’s never too early to start planning for an EB-5 green card. The Alcorn team assists investors with applying for EB-5 green cards. We also help investors explore alternatives to EB-5 visas. Contact us.