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Latest status of EB-5 program and proposed increase by Department of Homeland Security

In Fall 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published an agenda proposing amendment of its regulations governing the employment-based, fifth preference (EB-5) immigrant investor classification (“revised EB-5 regulations” or “Final Rule”).

According to the fall agenda, the Final Action of the revised EB-5 regulations is anticipated to take place in February 2018 with a 60-day grace period; and therefore the effective date would be April 2018.

It should be noted that Congress may also pass legislation to reform the EB-5 Program, which would include increasing the investment amount, in the first quarter of the year. DHS will likely defer to congressional legislation on EB-5.

While it is not certain yet what changes the Final Rule may bring, and if Congress will enact changes that supersede the DHS rule, the DHS in its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) proposed the following:

• Increase the minimum EB-5 investment amount from $1 million to $1.8 million, and $500,000 to $1.35 million in a Targeted Employment Area.

• Allow EB-5 petitioners to retain the priority dates of previously approved petitions so as to avoid further delays on immigrant visa processing associated with the loss of priority dates.

• Permit any city or town with high unemployment and a population of 20,000 or more to qualify as a TEA. Instead of states, DHS would make such designations directly.

• Derivative family members may be able to file their own petitions to remove conditions on their permanent residence even if they were not included on the principal investor’s petition.

• Other statutory changes.

Williams Global Law constantly monitors the status of the EB-5 investor program. If you require further information about recent developments in the EB-5 program, or if you wish to invest under the current rule, with lower investment amounts, contact our attorneys today!

Source: DHS.

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