The EB-5 Investor Visa Program has had a rough year. The first significant adjustment occurred in November 2019, when USCIS upped the necessary investment levels from $500,000 in TEAs to $900,000 and $1.8 million in non-TEAs. In federal court, who immediately challenged this increase? 

In June 2021, a federal court invalidated the increase in investment quantities, returning the TEA project minimum to $500,000. The court also invalidated the TEA definition amendment. 

Because Congress failed to renew the EB-5 Regional Center Program in time, it was set to expire on June 30, 2021, only days before this ruling was handed down. Get in touch with an advisor for US immigration to help achieve your permanent leave to remain status. 

Instead of one long-term reauthorization, the EB-5 Regional Center Program has had several shorter-term reauthorizations. It is the largest break ever.

The disparity is notable since the EB-5 Regional Center Program permits investors to participate passively through limited partnerships or limited liability companies. Currently, it looks like the program will stay closed until at least February 18, 2022, when it was set to expire on June 30, 2021. 

Congress must pass a new Continuing Resolution (CR) on or before that date. For the EB-5 regional centre investor immigration program to survive, it must be reinserted into the Congressional automatic budget renewal process, with or without modest modifications. 

What the EB-5 Provisions Include

An EB-5-only bill or EB-5 provisions included in the Build Back Better bill have all but vanished as Democrats in the Senate face setbacks, and Congress’ calendar is crowded with other legislative goals.

About 100,000 Regional Center applicants are still awaiting Congressional reauthorization, according to the letter sent to USCIS. It includes 83,000 investors still waiting to conduct their visa interviews overseas and 12,798 EB-5 Regional Center applications that USCIS has not yet processed.

Unlike the EB-5 Regional Center Program, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program has been reauthorized multiple times since its beginning, for varying durations of time. It is the program’s most prolonged lapse yet. 

The EB-5 Regional Center Program permits investors to participate in real estate and passively through a limited partnership or company. In addition to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, EB-5 funds were used to rebuild the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard.

Investors Left Stranded Due To Program Expiration

Desperate to save their investment and immigration advantages, hundreds of investors have been left stranded since the EB-5 Regional Center Program expired. Due to the delayed economic recovery, the pandemic has significantly impacted several investment initiatives.

The letter requests to hold all pending applications until the end of the year so Congress can consider extending the program. AILA also requests that USCIS modify its site to reflect the application deadline extension. 

Numerous stakeholders are now urging Congress to prolong the program due to its significant influence on the US economy and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. Congress is anticipated to approach USCIS about the policy of delaying applications until a legislative remedy is achieved.

This program is likely to be prolonged, putting investors, regional centers, and project developers in limbo regardless of whether the program is renewed or not. It looks that the program should be extended as well.

Minimum Investment Level

The minimum investment level of $500,000 may also be questioned. That the investment amount will rise is not speculative. The tricky part is when and how. Investors risked losing their money if the court of appeals overturned the district court’s June 2021 judgment. However, because legislative or regulatory acts are purely prospective, such investors would not be in danger of increasing investment amounts by law. Only a judicial judgment could go backward.

The EB-5 Regional Center Program is expected to remain in place for the foreseeable future if no governmental, administrative, or judicial action is taken to raise the minimum investment requirement.

Investing directly in a job-creating firm is now the only way to get an EB-5 visa. Investors can choose from a variety of direct investing choices. In a chosen employment location, an investment of $900,000 or more is the safest bet. Also, an investor can provide proof that the remaining $400,000 is instantly accessible and legitimately generated. 

On the other hand, they are investing $500,000 in TEAs, and being ready to invest an extra $400,000 if required is another risky alternative. Therefore, it is the most dangerous choice, as investors cannot invest more than $500,000. For more information regarding the EB-5 visa, get in touch with ILR lawyers near you.

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