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How canny foreigners are investing their way into a green card

Investing in rural EB-5 projects is catching on among foreign investors who wish to immigrate to the United States. The minimum investment for an EB-5 project in a TEA or “targeted employment area” (that is, in a rural or high-unemployment area) is much lower ($800,000) than investing in a project located outside such areas ($1.05 million). With the 2022 EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act, 20% of all EB-5 visas are now reserved for applicants who invest in rural areas, and 10% of EB-5 visas are reserved for TEAs. The benefits of investing in rural areas flow back to the investor, too—for example, Indian and Chinese investors who ordinarily would have to wait years to get visas after making their EB-5 investment should now get a US visa in a year or less—depending on visa availability. LCR Capital Partners is running a major rural EB-5 mining project in Missouri called US Strategic Metals, which kickstarts the US domestic production of electric vehicle batteries. According to Sherman Baldwin, CEO of LCR Partners, presidents Biden and Trump made domestic battery production a matter of national security since most metals used in electric vehicle batteries are mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an unstable economy, and processed in China. This particular Missouri project has been chosen as a matter of national interest, and thus, investors in this project are likely to get fast-tracked to receive their visas. (Investors from China are excluded from this particular project.)

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