On July 24, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a FINAL rule that will make significant changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program; the rule will go into effect on Nov. 21, 2019. This is noted to be the first significant revision to the program’s regulations since 1993. Some of these revisions include:
• raising the minimum investment amount from $1 million to $1.8 million, marking the first raise since 1990 in order to take account for inflation, as well as automatically adjusting for inflation every five years;
• new TEA designations created to address gerrymandering in areas reporting high rates of unemployment by revoking the states’ abilities to designate certain subdivisions, either political or geographical, as high unemployment areas, therefore leaving those such designations to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS);
• clarifications to previous USCIS procedures for certain derivative family members who are lawful permanent residents that state that he or she must file independently to remove conditions on their permanent residence;
• and, offering greater flexibility to those investors who have previously been approved for an EB-5 immigrant petition by allowing them to retain the priority date of a previously approved petition.
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program allows individuals to apply for conditional lawful permanent residence in the United States if they make the required investment into a business or commercial enterprise based in the United States and create or even possibly preserve 10 permanent full time jobs for lawful qualified US workers.