Congress passed the EB5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 on March 11, 2022. The Act extended the EB5 Regional Center program through September 30, 2027. It made some significant changes to the program.
EB5 investors are those who invest $1,050,000 in a new commercial enterprise and create 10 jobs for U.S. workers. However, if the enterprise is located in either a rural or a high-unemployment area, the amount of funds which need to be invested is reduced to $800,000.
Over 90% of all EB5 investors do not start their own businesses. Instead, they invest $800,000 in one of over 600 Regional Centers.
Under the EB5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA), any EB-5 project with more than one EB-5 investor must be sponsored by a Regional Center.
On May 13, 2022, USCIS announced that entities seeking regional center designation must file Form I-956, Application for Regional Center Designation, and I-956H, Bona Fides of Persons Involved with Regional Center Program.
10,000 immigrant visas per year are available to qualified individuals seeking EB5 investor green cards.
If an EB-5 applicant is physically present in the U.S. and meets the eligibility requirements, he/she can concurrently file for adjustment of status concurrently. with their I-526E petition.
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A Regional Center
- Is an entity, organization or agency that has been approved as such by the Service;
- Focuses on a specific geographic area within the United States; and,
- Seeks to promote economic growth through increased export sales, improved regional productivity, creation of new jobs, and increased domestic capital investment.
EB5 Investors must
- Demonstrate that a “qualified investment” (see below) is being made in a new commercial enterprise located within an approved Regional Center; and, show, using reasonable methodologies, that 10 or more jobs are actually created either directly or indirectly by the new commercial enterprise through revenues generated from increased exports, improved regional productivity, job creation, or increased domestic capital investment resulting from the pilot program.
On this Page:
- EB5 Investor Eligibility
- How Do I Seek Status as an EB-5 Investor?
- How Do I Obtain Status as a Conditional Resident?
- How Do I Remove the Two-Year Condition on my Green Card?
EB5 Investor Eligibility
The investment will benefit the United States economy and create the requisite number of full-time jobs for qualified persons within the United States.
In general, “eligible individuals” include those
- Who establish a new commercial enterprise by:
- Creating an original business;
- Purchasing an existing business and simultaneously or subsequently restructuring or reorganizing the business such that a new commercial enterprise results; or
- Expanding an existing business by 140 percent of the pre-investment number of jobs or net worth, or retaining all existing jobs in a troubled business that has lost 20 percent of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months; and
- Who have invested — or who are actively in the process of investing — in a new commercial enterprise:
- At least $1,050,000, or
- At least $800,000 where the investment is being made in a “targeted employment area” (TEA) which is an area that has experienced unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate or a rural area as designated by OMB; and
- Whose engagement in a new commercial enterprise will benefit the United States economy and
- Create full-time employment for not fewer than 10 qualified individuals; or
- Maintain the number of existing employees at no less than the pre-investment level for a period of at least two years, where the capital investment is being made in a “troubled business,” which is a business that has been in existence for at least two years and that has lost 20 percent of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months.
How do I Seek Status as an EB5 Investor?
In order to seek status as an immigrant investor, you must file USCIS Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. The Form I-526 must be filed with supporting documentation which clearly demonstrates that the individual’s investment meets all requirements, such as:
- Establishing a new commercial enterprise,
- Investing the requisite capital amount,
- Proving the investment comes from a lawful source of funds,
- Creating the requisite number of jobs,
- Demonstrating that the investor is actively participating in the business; and, where applicable,
- Creating employment within a targeted employment area.
How do I Obtain EB5 Status as a Conditional Resident?
Since September 1, 2022, USCIS stopped accepting a single, combined fee payment when an applicant or petitioner files Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor, or Form I-526E, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor, together with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, Form 131, Application for Travel Document, or Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Petitioners may combine the fee payment for Forms I-485, I-131 and I-765. However, petitioners must send a separate fee payment for Form I-526 or Form I-526E.
If a petitioner or applicant submits a single, combined fee payment for Forms I-526 or I-526E and the other forms, USCIS will reject the forms for improper fee payment and return the fee.
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How do I Remove the Two-Year Condition on my Green Card?
In order to remove the two-year condition, eligible EB5 investors must file a Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions. Form I-829 must be filed within 90 days before the second anniversary of an Investor’s admission to the United States as a conditional resident.
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Immigration Attorney Carl Shusterman has 40+ years of experience. He served as an attorney for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) from 1976 until 1982, when he entered private practice. He has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in SuperLawyers Magazine. Today, he serves as Of Counsel to JR Immigration Law Firm.