It is no secret that we are on the verge of the publication of a new regulation dealing with the EB-5 investor immigration program in the United States. Each year some 10,000 visas are issued to investor immigrants and their families on the basis that the principal applicants have invested under the program and created not less than 10 jobs. The exact investment amount depends on whether the investor is investing in a commercial project undertaken by a regional center – that is to say by someone other than the investor, or whether the investor is investing in his or her own commercial project. The vast majority of EB-5 investors choose the regional center option where they are only required to invest $ 500,000 U.S. for a period of about five years at minimum or no interest rates. A small minority choose to invest in their own commercial projects, normally requiring a $ 1 million U.S. investment. The purpose of the program is to attract foreign investment and to create jobs in America. That has been the lay of the land under this immigration program for almost 30 years. That is what is about to change.
New EB-5 Program Criteria
As soon as the new regulation currently moving through the U.S regulatory machinery surfaces, these investment requirements are expected to change radically. While the new amounts are not yet known, when the new regulation was introduced it had $ 1.35 million and $ 1.8 million investment requirements. Even assuming the actual amounts required could be reduced, still, there will be an adjustment period the investor community will have to weather. A stampede of investors striving to qualify under the old criteria until they are changed is expected. In short, for a brief period of time, foreign investors will still be able to qualify under the EB5 program by investing only $ 500,000 U.S. That time period is expected to be 30 days following the announcement of the regulatory change.
By Andy J. Semotiuk for FORBES
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