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EB-5 Overview

In June 2021, a federal court found the government’s increase in the minimum investment amount from $500,000 to $900,000 was not done properly and voided the regulations. So, for a short time until the USCIS properly increases the investment amount, it remains at $500,000. This is for both direct investments (where one creates their own business or with a friend or relative) and Regional Center projects.

While the direct EB-5 program remains, unfortunately the Regional Center program has lapsed. The EB-5 Regional Center (not the direct) statute expired on June 30th. The government says they will hold all Regional Center-related filings until Congress decides whether or not to extend this program.

The USCIS fully expects the EB-5 Regional Center program to be extended. The program has active support from Senator Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Leahy (D-VT). They tried to get their joint extension bill passed and Senator Cornyn (R-TX), the second highest ranking Republican senator, was in support. One senator objected. They will try again soon – but this shows the bill has strong congressional support.

The EB-5 Regional Center program has been extended many times and has briefly lapsed before. We will see what Congress does.

People interested in EB-5 immigration at the $500,000 level should consider investing and filing their I-526 petition now, for the investment amount may soon increase. The direct EB-5 petition can be filed at any time.

Today, investing under the Regional Center program is a bit complex. Some Regional Centers will take in $500,000 capital, which permits filing the I-526 petition as soon as the law is extended. If the investment amount increases before filing the I-526 petition, then the Regional Center will either allow the investor to increase his or her investment amount to the minimum required under the new USCIS regulations (probably requiring an additional $400,000 more, for a total of $900,000) or if the investor wishes, they will refund their $500,000 capital.

Please let me know if I can help with your EB-5 immigration case. Please note, I only provide immigration and visa services, not financial services.

Significant changes to EB-5 are expected to take effect in Novemenber 2019. Changes expected for EB-5 rules, including investment of $900,000 in a TEA and $1.8M in other places.

Martin Lawler has a team of EB-5 expert lawyers and paralegals who assist him with investor green card cases. Together they have filed about 400 regional center EB-5 investor petitions (I-526s) for green cards, about 150 removal of conditional residence petitions (I-829s), and about 40 direct investor cases.

The EB-5 category is an efficient strategy for foreign nationals looking to become permanent residents of the United States. A person investing at least $900,000 in certain areas (or $1 million, soon to be $1.8 million) in a business that creates 10 jobs may be granted EB-5 permanent resident status.

Martin Lawler and his expert team of EB-5 lawyers assist developers and financiers with setting up and operating EB-5 regional centers. They will advise on structuring the organization, drafting and reviewing documents, supervising the regional center’s operation, and filing USCIS annual reports.

In 1993, Congress created an alternative to the “direct” investment program whereby immigrants may invest $900,000 or more in USCIS-designated “regional centers.” In this program, a financier or developer makes a proposal to the USCIS.

Permanent residence is permissible for investors who invest in a commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 10 full-time jobs. The minimum investment is $900,000 if the investment is made in a “targeted employment area.”

People ask us how to evaluate a regional center (RC) and conduct due diligence. This involves analyzing the economic risk of inadequate financial return or business failure; and analyzing immigration risks or likelihood that the RC will not provide a green card.


Learn the answers to commonly asked questions on our FAQ page for EB-5.