US EB-5 Investor Visa Program-Major Changes Affect Indian Investors

US EB-5 Investor Visa Program-Major Changes Affect Indian Investors

The regulations governing EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program in the USA were amended On July 24, 2019, by the Homeland Security Department. These reflect statutory modifications and modernization of the EB-5 program. Presently, one can obtain the permanent visa by invest $500k in such businesses that create 10 jobs in a top unemployment area; or invest $1million in any place of the U.S., and create ten jobs. 

 The changes, significant to investors from India are: 

• Increased amount of minimum investment and exclusion of $500k investment level, 

• Priority date retention to some EB-5 investors, and 

• High standards for target employment areas  

This rule will take effect on November 21, 2019, and the intervening time is essential for investors.

The Increased Level of Investment

These Investor levels were revised to reveal the contemporary dollar value of the invested amount and were established in 1990.  The authorities now adjusted the amounts accommodating the inflation happening from 1990 till 2015, measured through the Consumer Price Index. The new amount is set for adjustment in every five years in the future calculated on the CPI. The $1 million level is set to increase to $1.8 million, and the level for investments in target employment areas will be $900k from $500k.

Priority Date retention:  

Some of the EB-5 petitioners can retain the priority date when the EB-5 petition is approved first. This is supportive to petitioners since in case the invested business collapses or cannot support the required job creation, a substitute investment can be put in its place, and the petitioner can retain the priority date in the visa category.  The retention of priority date permits a petitioner, in maintaining the place, and also to find another suitable business, for investing. An Indian investor can get a conditional visa following submission of form I-526 petition and on approval, without waiting in the back-log line.  

TEA areas:  

The new rule will also eliminate ability of each state to designate some areas to be high unemployment, and assigns this task to the Department. This new rule will prove difficult for businesses to demonstrate that they are a part of high unemployment census. States like California made TEA Designations enthusiastically obtainable. This change will also reduce the amount of business that can qualify as the TEA.  For all Indian investors, this means fewer businesses that qualify as a TEA, and obtaining the investor visas by spending $900k.

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