Business investment based US green card program is popular with Indian and Chinese investors to bypass the long queues for their countries in employment and family based categories.
DHS has proposed a new investment amount on July 23, 2019 which raises the funds required to get US green card from 500K to 900k. An almost double of what is required currently.
Under the EB-5 program, you can apply for US green card directly if you make the necessary investment in a business in the United States.
This article will discuss:
New EB5 Investment Rules
#1 Investment Amount
The new rule will be active starting Nov 21, 2019 and will raise the investment amount to:
- Rural Area or targeted employment areas: The current minimum 500K requirement will be replaced with 900k.
- Urban Area: The current $1 million criteria will be bumped to $1.8 milion
The new rule will not affect the current EB5 green card applications which are already waiting for decision.
All new Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor (Form I-526) petitions filed on or after Nov 21, 2019 will have to follow the new rules. Applications filed before Nov 21 can still use the current rules of investment.
#2 Priority Date Retention
If you have multiple approved EB5 petitions, then you can use the earliest priority date, which is the date on which the petition was properly filed.
Example: If you have filed a new EB5 application due to circumstances beyond your control (for instance, DHS might have terminated a regional center associated with the original petition), or might choose to do so for other reasons.
#3 TEA (Targeted Employment Areas)
Only cities and towns with a population of 20,000 or more outside of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) may qualify as a TEA.
The DHS will have the authority to decide which areas can be termed as TEA. The final rule eliminates the ability of a state to designate certain geographic and political subdivisions as high unemployment areas.
Under the current rule, TEA designations are not available at the city or town level, unless a state designates the city or town as a high unemployment area and provides evidence of such designation to a EB-5 investor for submission with Form I-526.
#3 Family Members Green Card Conditions
The derivative family members must file their own petitions to remove conditions on their permanent residence when they are not included in a petition to remove conditions filed by the principal EB5 investor. DHS estimates the total cost to applicants filing separately will be $91,023 annually.
#4 Green Card Interview Location Flexible
Green card Interview can now be scheduled at the USCIS office having jurisdiction over either the EB5’s office, residence, or the location where the Form I829 petition is being processed.
EB 5 Green Card Requirement
#1 Managerial Control
You should be working in your company as a manager who has control over policy formulation.
#2 Full time jobs for 10 workers
Your company should create 10+ full-time jobs in USA for U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (Green card holder), or other immigrants lawfully authorized to be employed in the United States like H1B or L workers.
You cannot count yourself, your spouse, or your sons or daughters to satisfy this 10 employee requirement.
Chinese EB5 Processing Time
People born in China face extremely long wait time for EB5 investment green card than any other country nationals. At this time, a Chinese native has a waiting of 16 years.
A court case has been pending in US court challenging the way USCIS counts family members as part of the total green card numbers. With an average family size of 3, the total number of EB5 quota gets reduced by 1/3. This is one of the main reason behind the huge backlogs.
Can H1B Worker Apply EB5 Green Card?
If you are working on H1B in USA and have the money to sponsor yourself for EB5 business investor program, you can apply for EB5 visa.
I know many people working on H1B and L visa in USA from India and are actively thinking about investing to get the green card faster than their PERM based employment green card.
Cost Benefit Analysis of Raised Investment Amount
The new EB5 investment amount will certain deter many investors and may result in fewer job creation in US.
This could also prevent certain projects from moving forward due to lack of required capital.
The investors may turn to other country’s investor visa programs as it may seem more attractive and provide better return on investment.