The EB-5 Program, as it presently stands, grants permanent residence to foreign investors if they invest $500,000 (in high unemployment areas) or $1 million (in low unemployment areas) in a new business that employs at least 10 U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents on a full-time basis.
Since its inception in 1990, many believe the program minimum amounts of investment is due for an increase, and there has been speculation that the minimum amounts will increase, from $500,000 to $800,000 and from $1 million to $1.2 million, respectively.
Congress extended the EB-5 visa program on September 30, 2016, allowing the program to run until December 2016.
Congress passed a continuing resolution, which included EB-5, to avoid a government shutdown before the end of the fiscal year. It was passed with no reforms, which many say it strongly needs. Congress kept the bill afloat in a similar situation last September at the end of the government’s fiscal year, and gave it two extensions before Wednesday’s vote.
President Barack Obama signed the bill containing the continuing resolution into law on September 29, just about 36 hours before the end of fiscal 2016.
The program, which grants foreign investors green cards after they invest at least $500,000 in job-producing ventures, was set to expire on September 30 at midnight. But that vote may be no surprise, especially considering this is an election year.
One of the downsides of continuous re-evaluation of the program is that it may spook investors, but the positives of the review is that experts claim long wait lists, little oversight, and rampant fraud call for a big overhaul of the visa program.
As only Congress is capable of making any changes to the EB-5 program, we will provide updates in December.
What about the L-1A Visa as an Alternative?
For foreign business owners that are interested in opening a subsidiary of an existing business in the United States, and thereafter applying for the Green Card, the L-1A or L-1B visa may be a more efficient, faster, and less expensive means to the same goal as the EB-5.
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*This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. This article does not make any guarantees as to the outcome of a particular matter, as each matter has its own set of circumstances and must be evaluated individually by a licensed attorney.