The final version of the EB-5 program’s new regulations passed final review by OMB (Office of Management and Budget). All that now remains before the new rules can take effect is for the USCIS (the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) to publish them in the Federal Register.
The EB-5 Industry expects the new rules to be published “any day now” and are preparing for the minimum investment levels to significantly increase
(expectation is based on the proposed regulations from 2017).
How significant are the changes?
EB-5 investors are looking at a 170% increase for TEA (targeted employment areas). TEA current investment minimum is $500,000 proposed changes could make this $1,350,000!
When will this change go into effect?
At any moment. The Office of Management and Budget passed the new rule. The EB-5 community is waiting for when the rule will be implemented.
New rules have been approved and are pending public announcement. The industry hopes for a 60 day grace period but it would not be unprecedented if the grace period were only 30 days.
Are there other changes?
The $500,000 current cost above is for Targeted Employment Areas (TEA). Investment in non-TEA areas will be near $2 million, currently $1,000,000 investment required but it’s expected to rise to $1,800,000 with the new rule.
TEA’s are popular with foreign investors because they require a smaller investment. However, the new rule also threatens TEA projects. Currently TEA designations are done at the state level. However we could see this move to the USCIS. Why is that an unwelcome change? Processing time. Each year we see process times for I-526 forms go up, adding something else the USCIS needs to process can only slow down projects or prevent them from even becoming projects due to the wait.
What effect will this have on the market?
Foreign investors are hurrying to complete their applications before this new regulation is released because it saves them between $500,000 and $800,000 per application AND it will be harder for foreign investors to find TEA projects after the new rule.
There are an estimated 4,000 new applicants putting in their applications before this regulation goes into effect. There is no benefit to waiting. This rule WILL go into effect “at some point”.
- Minimum investments will go up by $500,000 to $800,000
- More restrictions on investment projects = harder to get