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March 14 2018

Significant New Changes to EB-5 Proposed in Congress

Last Friday (March 8th), some members of Congress distributed a legislative proposal that will alter the EB-5 program dramatically.  They will try to pass this proposal along with the government spending bill by March 23.

If approved, the new EB-5 bill will increase investment amounts and reduce the number of available petitions by March 23, 2018.

So, what are these proposed changes?  Here are a few of the major provisions:

  • Increase in minimum investment amounts from $500,000 to $925,000 or $1,025,000.  Some experts believe that, practically speaking, none of the good projects in the market will qualify at $925,000 under the new TEA rules, so one would need to invest $1,025,000.  The difficulty in transferring funds and proving the source of such large amounts will decrease the number of investors. 
  • Increase in investor filing fees - an additional $12,500 per petition.
  • Decrease in available visas through the program, from 10,000 to 7,000.
  • USCIS will not accept more petitions in any year than would equal the visa quota; therefore only 2,200 - 2,400 petitions will be accepted (roughly 7,000 visas) per year.
  • Most importantly, USCIS will impose a moratorium - no new applications will be accepted for 120 days following passage of the bill.  During this time, they will make the changes to the program and begin accepting applications for the new amounts in July.  Most investors will just wait for the program to reopen before investing. 
  • Increase the number of jobs that must be created from 10 to 12. 

You should contact your elected representatives, but do not bother with Senator Feinstein— she opposes EB-5.  I will keep you posted.