Foreign investors who put money into regional centers via the EB-5 investor immigration program may now enter the United States legally, according to the Reform and Integrity Act, which was approved in March of 2022. The regional center component of the EB5 program is by far the most popular, with over 80% of foreign investors using it to apply for green cards. Many Chinese, Indian, and Vietnamese investors have joined the program recently. In the past, however, investors have been frustrated by lengthy wait times, which rendered the program impractical for many. Now, however, that is no longer the case.
Requirements for Participating in the EB-5 Regional Center Program
To quickly review the requirements of the regional center program, foreign investors must put $800,000 into a rural, high-unemployment, or infrastructure program to be eligible for immigration. If not, the minimum amount to invest is $1,050,00. Within two and a half years following the petition's approval, the invested money must generate at least 10 new employees. Economic studies are submitted to prove how a project creates indirect jobs, and the program allows for both types of employment to be recorded. It is a significant contributing factor to the success of the regional center program. Regional center projects must provide evidence that their investment would result in the creation of at least ten new employment for each investor, and investors must provide evidence that their capital came from a legal source and was properly disseminated. The procedure begins with the submission of the investor petition and the two supporting documents. The date and I-526E petition for an investor file are crucial because it determines the investor's priority date when applications are being processed. It's a five-year commitment with little or no interest given on the funds as they sit idle.
Relevant For Investors Residing in the US
Those already in the United States on an EB-5 visa, such as international students, H1B employees, those with O or L visas, certain high net-worth foreigners, and even certain tourists, may benefit greatly from this program. It is because the new law allows such persons to apply to alter their status from inside the United States to permanent resident status, as well as an application for an employment authorization document (EAD) and a travel document. While this is not conceivable for travelers who come to the United States to apply for permanent residency from inside, it is possible for individuals who arrive for other reasons and subsequently decide to apply. However, visitors using an ESTA to enter the United States are not eligible to use the concurrent filing option.
The submission of an I-526E petition alone is enough to apply for work authorization and travel privileges at the same time as a permanent residency application. Some people who have overstayed their visas or worked illegally may still be able to alter their status under these rules. However, interested investors from other countries may still take advantage of this offer, but with a longer wait period to enter the United States due to the National Visa Center and overseas consular processing.
Reserves Are Essential
The introduction of reserved visas, often called set-asides, identified as priority regions for investment, has been a game-changing move. Investors in rural projects (those located outside of major cities in regions with fewer than 20,000 residents), high-unemployment areas (those with unemployment rates of more than 150 percent of the national average), and infrastructure locations would be given priority processing. Investors who put money into these earmarked areas go to the front of the approval queue; this includes investors from China, India, and Vietnam; and they may anticipate a decision in the next two to three years.
These visa categories are all up to date in the appropriate Visa Bulletin published by the State Department and are likely to remain so until the end of the 2023 fiscal year. The EB-5 community anticipates that there will be about 11,000 unused visas for EB-5 investment immigrants and their families in the fiscal year ending September 30th, 2023. Most candidates that apply for these set-asides at this time up through the end of September should be able to qualify as a result of it, according to the available information.
This year is unprecedented for the EB-5 program. It is highly unlikely to be offered to foreign investors again in the foreseeable future. Foreign investors who are already in the United States and have submitted their I-526 petitions a long time ago may still apply for adjustment status by providing a copy of their receipt notification.
Now Is the Time To Act
Shortly put, now is a great moment to submit an application for foreign investor immigration to the US. This opportunity is available for the next eight months. Finding a viable EB-5 regional center project, amassing the necessary capital, completing the necessary documentation, and establishing the legitimacy of the investment will all take time. Now is the time to begin.
Note: This website's content is meant to be general; it does not constitute legal or financial advice. Only a licensed expert with a total understanding of all the information and circumstances of your specific situation can provide legal or financial advice. Before enrolling in the EB-5 program, you should contact a visa attorney with legal, immigration, and financial knowledge.