The EB-5 Investor Visa Program provides an opportunity for qualified immigrant investors and their immediate families (children up to the age of 21) to obtain U.S. green cards and permanent residency through a one-time investment of $900,000 USD into a new U.S. business that creates 10 or more American jobs.
Administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the EB-5 program approves and designates Regional Centers, such as the LCR Overseas Regional Center, to attract foreign investment into the U.S.
Since the program’s creation in 1990, thousands of immigrants have received permanent U.S. residency, creating tens of thousands of American jobs at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer.
The EB-5 program has experienced explosive growth since 2009, due to the its long-established guidelines and high individual approval rates. Between 2010 and 2017, EB-5 capital expanded from a base of $975 million to over $6 billion per year.
The U.S. hit its annual quota of 10,000 EB-5 visas for the first time in 2014. Eighty-five percent of them went to Chinese nationals.
The quota system stipulates that no country’s citizens can claim more than 7 percent of the total EB-5 visas in a year, as long as any other country wants them. Due to this strong demand, Investors from mainland China currently face extraordinarily long waiting periods before they can secure their conditional green card.
A Chinese investor filing this year must wait 15+ years from the time he invests to when he gets approval to move to the U.S.
The final regulation overhauling the EB-5 immigrant investor program was released in July 2019 and increases the minimum investment amount required to obtain U.S. green card via investment for the first time in nearly 30 years. The minimums are currently at $900,000 and $1.8 million, effective November 21st, 2019.
The EB-5 Program has lapsed. The US Congress is discussing the legislation that authorizes the program while USCIS reviews the regulations and policies for filing. Because of the recent court ruling that reversed the 2019 Modernization regulations, the investment level has shifted temporarily from $900,000 back to $500,000.
If the program is reauthorized before the regulations are updated, there may be another window of opportunity to file at $500,000.
LCR expects the program to be reauthorized in December, and continues to work with international families that want to explore alternative residency options.