The EB-5 Regional Center Program, which was slated to expire last month, has been extended through Dec. 7 as part of the federal spending bill.
Since 2015, the EB-5 Regional Center green card has been tied to the federal budget. That means whenever Congress reauthorizes the federal budget, the EB-5 program receives an extension. Many political observers indicate this will likely continue.
A foreign national and her or his family can get EB-5 green cards by investing $1 million in a regional center that creates at least 10 full-time jobs. A foreign national only needs to invest $500,000 if the regional center is located in a high unemployment or rural area. A regional center is a business—often a real-estate project—approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). While it maintains a list of approved regional centers, USCIS either guarantees nor endorses the investment.
Option for Students
An EB-5 green card is a great option for international students who decide after coming here that they would like to live and work legally in the U.S. after graduation. In fact, we recently helped a student get an EB-5 green card. And it’s one of the few options for international students beyond the H-1B visa, which has long odds given the oversubscribed lottery system.
Alternatives for Investors
Currently, USCIS is issuing EB-5 regional center green cards to foreign investors from all countries except China. According to the October 2018 Visa Bulletin, investors from China face a four-year wait for an EB-5. However, due to the backlog, it might actually take longer than that. Therefore, some investors consider the option of obtaining Grenada citizenship and applying for an E-2 investor visa in the meantime.
If you found this information helpful, please let me know in the comments section below. If we can help you assess whether an EB-5, E-2 or other option is best for you, please reach out to us!