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Interested in a US Green Card via Investment?

Well, Congress finally got something done. While I am being a bit tongue-in-cheek, we have been waiting since the EB-5 Regional Center Investor Program expired last Summer for Congress to act and they finally have reauthorized the program, with some changes of note, through September 30, 2027. This bill, the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (Integrity Act), was signed into law by President Biden on March 15, 2022.

  1. What is the EB-5, Immigrant Investor Program?

Created by Congress in 1990, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program was intended to stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.

Individuals who make a qualifying investment and otherwise meet all eligibility criteria for the EB-5 program are granted Conditional Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status, which is colloquially referred to as holding a “green card,” for a two-year period. After meeting the requirements to remove conditions, the EB-5 investor may file to remove the conditions and gain full and permanent LPR status. 

  1. What is an EB-5 Regional Center?

An EB-5 Regional Center is an organization designated by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and can be any private or public economic entity that is involved with the promotion of increased domestic capital, job creation, improved regional productivity, and increased economic growth.

  1. Does the Integrity Act contain substantial changes from the pre-July 2021 program?

Indeed. While none of the program modifications contained in the bill reauthorizing the EB-5 Regional Center Program were completely unexpected, they will require adjustments to those setting up and facilitating EB-5 Regional Center projects, immigration lawyers representing intending EB-5 immigrants, and investing immigrants looking to take advantage of the program.

  1. What is a Targeted Employment Area?

A Targeted Employment Area (TEA) project is one that is located: (1) within a rural area; or (2) within an area of high unemployment (using the definition from the 2019 regulations).

While not inclusive, the following are the most substantial provisions of the Integrity Act:

  • Grandfathers certain pre-enactment investors by preserving their eligibility, as of the time they filed their Form I-526, Immigrant Petition for Alien Entrepreneur, for both adjudication of both the I-526 and Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status.
  • Modifies the qualifying reginal center minimum investment to $1,050,000.00 USD for a non-TEA investment or $800,000.00 USD if in a qualifying TEA or infrastructure project (under certain circumstances).
  • Sets aside visa numbers for those investing in rural (20%), high-employment (10%), and infrastructure projects (2%).
  • Implements stringent new requirements for regional centers, including provisions related to government securities compliance, annual program audits by USCIS, record-keeping, ownership, and program administration.
  • Expands the “job creation” requirements to include both direct and indirect employment.
  • Extends the ability to file Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status (if investor and applicable dependent family members are already in lawful status and are eligible for a visa number) and INA Section 245(K) status violation forgiveness related to adjustment applications.

While less significant than the other new provisions, the Integrity Act also establishes an integrity fund to which regional centers must contribute annually to support USCIS fraud prevention and monitoring efforts.

Do you want to live in the US permanently? Do you want your children to qualify for in-state tuition in the US? Do you want to retire or be self-employed in the US? If so, please join us virtually on April 7, 2022 at 2:00 P.M. EDT to learn more.

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