The U.S. immigrant investor EB-5 Program will likely be facing drastic changes this year. Last week during an EB-5 seminar, a five-member panel addressed the program's main issues.
Currently, foreign investors can obtain a green card by investing $500,000 to $1 million in a U.S. business that will create 10 new jobs for American citizens. Most investments in the EB-5 program are done through Regional Centers. A proposed bill is looking to tighten reporting requirements for the Regional Centers, standards of job-creation, as well as the use of foreign capital. The EB-5 Integrity Act of 2016 will require the Regional Centers to consult the Department of Homeland Security prior to any administrative changes, and those developments that are deemed to be at risk for fraud can have approval removed.
Last year, the attempt to reform EB-5 law was denied and thus the business immigration program received an extension until September 30th 2016. The EB-5 program is now facing serious pressure on how to reform the bill and program in order for it to be better for potential investors.
While more stringent reporting requirements will only serve to protect the investors, it will also further increase the backlog of investors from Mainland China. Only 10,000 EB-5 visas are issued each year, and a huge percentage of applications are coming from China. As the U.S. will only allocate a percentage of visas to any one country, the Chinese backlog continues to grow each year while applicants from other countries can continue to obtain green cards without additional delay.
Applicants interested in immigration to the USA are encouraged to apply without delay. There is no certainty as to what kind of changes will be implemented after September 2016 as well as how this will affect the application process.
For more information on the U.S. EB-5 program, please click here.
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