On November 21st, 2019, the EB-5 minimum investment will increase significantly from its present lowest amount of $500,000USD, with the amount of the increase depending on the type of project that an EB-5 applicant chooses to invest in.
The deciding factor for these increases will lie in whether or not the project of choice is located in an area that is considered a targeted employment area (TEA) or a non-targeted employment area. Targeted employment areas are areas in which the rate of unemployment is 150% higher than that of the national average (as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Due to the fact that these areas are in need of employment solutions with more urgency than areas where the rate of unemployment is lower, the government offers monetary incentives for projects created in these areas. For projects located within a TEA, the minimum investment will raise from $500,000USD to $900,000USD – an increase of $400,000USD. Projects that are slated for non-TEAs will experience a larger increase jump, moving from $1,000,000USD to $1,800,000USD – a notable increase of $800,000USD.
In addition to the investment increase, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be transferring the responsibility of the assignment of TEAs from the state level (where it currently sits) to the Department of Homeland Security. This move is being done with the intention of preventing applicants from designating non-assigned areas as TEAs on their petitions without adequate data, a step that can be overlooked during the processing of applications. Removing the responsibility of designation from the state will make it more difficult for TEAs to be assigned to new areas and will decrease the probability that investors will be able to qualify for the lower investment amount.
The new regulation will also make it necessary for family members of applicants who were not included in the original application to file petitions themselves, an added step that may prolong the permanent immigration status of the families of potential EB-5 applicants.
At the time of this posting, for those who have yet to begin their EB-5 investor visa petition, there are currently only 77 days left until these regulation amendments are introduced. Contact us today for more information on how you can start your EB-5 application journey before the investment increase comes into effect.