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U.S. EB-5 Program

Window of Opportunity for the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program


Published   09:13 AM 29 March 2017
Updated    09:15 AM 29 March 2017

Window of Opportunity for the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
Immigration to the U.S. is still rife with uncertainty as President Donald Trump’s latest attempt to curtail entrance from Muslim-majority nations was once again halted by the U.S. federal judiciary system. Those affected by the Trump administration’s second travel ban included Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and Libya, with Iraq removed from the list. Exemption was also granted to those holding a U.S. Green Card (permanent residency) or visas. Even with Trump’s determination to halt travel to the U.S. from select Middle Eastern countries, interest in obtaining a U.S. Green Card remains strong—especially for those who can afford it.

The U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which grants qualified applicants and their dependents a U.S. Green Card in exchange for an investment into the U.S. economy, will likely see a greater spike in inquiries and application submission from wealthy Arab nationals before the program is scheduled to end.

The U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

For high net worth individuals seeking immigration to America through investment opportunities, the chance to apply to the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program will only last until April 28, 2017.

Despite the program’s decades-long reputation, expected changes for the EB-5 Program will likely affect its livelihood. Currently, business-minded individuals and entrepreneurs can obtain a U.S. Green Card by investing USD $500,000 in a Regional Center or by creating ten full-time jobs for American workers in a Target Employment Area, or TEA. After the EB-5 application deadline lapses in April, investment amounts are expected to increase to USD $1.35 million—a substantial difference, even for high net worth individuals. Those who apply now under the program’s current requirements are exempted from the anticipated increased amount.

Current EB-5 Program Investment Requirements

The U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program was created to stimulate the U.S. economy by attracting foreign capital investment and creating jobs for American workers. Eligible entrepreneurs, business leaders, retirees, and other foreign investors must meet investment criteria as follows:
  • Make a capital investment of USD $1 million into a U.S. commercial enterprise, or invest USD $500,000 in a Regional Center (located in a rural or high unemployment area);
  • Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified American workers.
EB-5 Program Investment Options
  1. If the applicant chooses to invest USD $1 million in a U.S. commercial enterprise, he or she has the option of purchasing an existing business that must be restructured or reorganized to create a new commercial enterprise. Or, applicants may use their investment to expand an existing business that results in a 40% increase in either company net worth or total number of employees.
Under the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program regulations, a “commercial enterprise” includes options such as sole proprietorship of a business, business partnership, holding company, joint venture, corporation, or business trust. In addition, the initial investment must fulfill the requirement of creating or preserving ten full-time jobs for American workers within two years of the applicant’s entry into the U.S.
  1. Applicants can choose to invest USD $500,000 in a federally-designated Regional Center, whereby applicants must prove that their investment will create ten new jobs for American workers associated with the Regional Center.
Regional Centers qualify as an organization or agency that is regulated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), such as a Charter School. Unlike the commercial enterprise investment, this option does not require applicants to be directly involved with the project.

Final Thoughts

If the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is not extended in April 2017, the U.S. economy risks losing billions of dollars from foreign investors as well as hundreds of thousands of jobs created as a result. In the past, the EB-5 investors have funded a number of projects, including Jersey City’s Trump-branded tower.

Whether or not future U.S. immigration policy will affect the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program remains uncertain and the window of opportunity for obtaining a U.S. Green Card is closing fast. Contact our office today to discuss immigration planning to the U.S.

For more information about the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, please click here.

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