On January 13, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register titled “EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization.” The rule was open for public comment until April 11, 2017. The DHS will examine the comments and incorporate them toward creating a new final rule affecting the EB5 program. The notice of proposed rulemaking proposed changes to key aspects of the EB5 program. In this article, we will examine the significant changes in the notice of proposed rulemaking and discuss briefly what these changes may mean for the future of the EB5 program if they are adopted.
The EB-5 investor program allows people who make substantial investments in a qualifying enterprise in the USA to obtain a permanent resident EB-5 visa. The qualifying investment must either create or save 10 full time positions for people authorized to work in the USA. In order to apply for an EB-5 visa, the applicant must file the Form I-526 and Form I-485 with the USCIS. If the EB-5 visa is approved, the investor and any derivatives will be granted conditional resident status for 2 years. Within 90 days of the expiration of 2 years, the EB-5 visa investor must submit the Form I-829 to apply to remove conditions on residency (as well as the conditions on any derivatives). After 5 years on EB-5 status from the EB-5 investor visa program, the immigrant investor may apply for naturalization.
On December 16 of last year, the EB5 immigrant investor program was extended for nine months as part of the omnibus appropriations bill. That extension lasts until September 30, 2016, and at the present moment, there are questions with regard to subsequent extensions for the EB5 immigrant investors program.
On February 11, 2016, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Immigrant Investor Program Office released an updated EB5 processing time report. It includes a chart that shows the timeframe, measured in months, “representing the average processing time” as of December 31, 2015, for the Form I-526, Form I-829, and Form I-924.
On January 12, 2015, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS’s) Immigrant Investor Program Office released its updated EB5 processing time report.
On June 14, 2016, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released its most recent average processing times for the Immigrant Investor Program Office. The processing times are based on processing dates as of April 30, 2016.
In welcome news for those seeking EB5 status, the Department of State’s (DOS’s) National Visa Center (NVC) has announced an “investor assistance desk” for approved those with an approved Form I-526 petition. The EB5 Investor Assistance Desk launched on February 22, 2016.
On December 3, 2015, USCIS released its annual reporting information and filing tips for the Form I-924A, Supplement to the Form I-924. This information is invaluable to Regional Centers participating in the EB5 Regional Center Program.
The United States makes approximately 140,000 immigrant visas available each fiscal year for aliens as well as their spouses and children who wish to immigrate to the United States based on their occupational skills. An individual needs the right combination of skills, education, and/or work experience to qualify for an employment-based immigrant visa and may be able to permanently reside in the United States. There are five employment-based immigrant visa preferences categories.
The following is a list of current EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Centers by state. It is periodically updated and up to date
Immigrant petitions of foreign investors, also known as the EB5 immigrant visas, have successfully helped many immigrants and their families move to America permanently while contributing to creation of new jobs and assisting the industrial development in their new communities. EB5 investor visa became extremely popular due to the benefits (green card) it offers.