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Changes to the EB-5 Program

by Hamid R. Kashani, Attorney at Law
Nov 07, 2018 (last modified Nov 21, 2019)

New Regulations Taking Effect on November 21, 2019

The EB-5 program has remained unchanged for more than 25 years. Both the United States Congress and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) have indicated an urgent need for changes in the EB-5 program. At this time, it does not appear that a new legislation will be forthcoming. However, on November 21, 2019, new regulations will take effect.  The discussions on this page briefly highlight some of the changes.

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The USCIS' new regulations increase the minimum investment from $1 million to $1.8 million. They also increase the minimum investment for businesses principally located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) from $500,000 to $900,000.

The proposed regulations are also aimed at stopping gerrymandering of TEA's. They will also move the determination of TEA designation from the state authorities to the USCIS.

On a helpful gesture to investors, the new regulations would allow the beneficiaries of approved petitions to retain their priority dates, if they need to file a new petition. New petitions may be necessary due to the unavailabilty of investment opportunity with the regional center identified in their original petition. This would be important to investors who have to wait a substantial amount time for EB-5 visas because of their priority date and lack of visa availability.  See Priority Dates & Visa Availability.



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