After months of debate and uncertainty, the U.S. Congress has passed the "EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022" as part of the overall U.S. Omnibus Spending Bill. The EB-5 Reauthorization extends the EB-5 Regional Center program through September 30, 2027, with significant changes that will impact existing and future investors. Most notably, the minimum EB-5 investment amount would increase to $800,000 from the current $500,000 for Targeted Employment Areas and Rural Areas and $1.05M from the current $1M for Non-Targeted Employment Areas for both regional center and direct EB-5 investments.
Some major provisions that will affect existing investors include:
- The new restrictions and greater investment amounts will not apply to pending I-526 petitions.
- After the bill is signed into law, I-526 petitions, adjustment of status applications, and consular procedures will resume.For future investors, a few important points:
- With I-526 petitions, concurrent adjustment of status filings of I-485 fillings are allowed which means applicants currently in the US on F-1 student visa, OPT, H-1B work visa, L-1A managerial visa and other non-immigrant visas can apply for and get Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Travel Document (TD) in 90-120 days of applying for EB-5 and become free to work anywhere without employer sponsorship.
- For targeted employment areas (TEAs) or "infrastructure projects," the needed investment amount will increase to $800,000The investment amount will be $1,050,000 if this is not the case.
- If the EB-5 program lapses in the future, grandfathering laws require USCIS to continue processing EB-5 petitions as long as they are filed by
- The bill allocates 20% of total EB-5 visa numbers to investments in rural areas, 10% to investments in high-unemployment areas, and 2% to infrastructure projects.
- In some instances, protection for dependent children who have reached the age of majority.
- Gifts are still allowed, and they aren't restricted to family members.
- Capital investments, administrative fees, and any fees "connected" with the investment are also subject to source of funds restrictions.
- If a regional center or new commercial enterprise (NCE) closes, there is a process in place to switch projects.
Regional Centers can expect the following:
- Caps on indirect and construction jobs have been imposed.
- Individual I-526 applications must be presented after an I-924 application has been filed.
- The validity of TEA letters is two years.
- USCIS must audit RCs at least once every five years.
- Outside of the RC geography, (maybe) redeployment is allowed (subject to regulations).
- Persons who have committed certain crimes or who have been subject to orders or sanctions from certain state or federal enforcement bodies are prohibited from participating in RCs.
- Third-party agent fees and involvement in a project must be disclosed.
- The USCIS requires direct and third-party promoters to register.
- New RC/NCE "funds administration" guidelines.
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Stellar MLS (updated 3/19/23 8:18 PM) |