It has been confirmed that the USA’s EB-5 Investor Visa changes will come into effect in about 4 months from now. Earlier today the Trump administration confirmed that changes to the program will be implemented on 21 November 2019.
Last week we speculated about the possible changes which included a strong likelihood of a massive increase in the minimum required investment amount and this has now been confirmed. For the next four months investors will still be required to make a minimum investment of US $500,000 after which the requirement will nearly double to US $900,000 – making it almost doubly difficult to obtain the visa than is currently the case.
The EB-5 visa, was created in 1990 and was designed specifically to attract foreigners investors and rewarding them with American residency. Investments would be made in government approved projects and in developments in the USA. It has offered an attainable option to American residency for qualifying investors and will continue to do so but at a steeper price.
A higher increase in the minimum investment was expected but Trump did, however, slightly soften the blow. Homeland Security had considered raising the minimum investment for high-unemployment areas to $1.35 million, but chose to go with the lesser figure of $900,000.
Act now to benefit from the grace period
If an EB-5 application is received prior to, or during the grace period (between now and 21 November), it will still be processed under the current rules. Experts in the immigration industry are expecting a massive spike in EB-5 visa applications from would-be migrants who will want to side step the new rules and, what is expected to be, a considerable increase in the minimum investment amount the new law requires.
Immigration professionals are warning that investors probably have a realistic maximum of 90 days within which to start their EB-5 visa process or fork out US $900,000 per investment – US $400,000 more than the current minimum investment requirement of US $500,000.
All applications submitted under the current version of the program will be honored by USCIS and will likely escape the impact of changes in the pipe line for this visa program.
It could become more difficult to qualify for this visa program in the next few years
Migration professionals who specialize in the EB-5 agree that in addition to the more immediate changes long term changes are likely also on the cards and are expecting further legislation in this regard to be passed before the end of 2019.
What you can do to avoid being affected
The good news is that you can avoid being affected by the changes. You should contact your immigration professional right away and talk about the status of your EB-5 visa. Your immigration consultant will be able to give you the best advice so that your application can be filed ahead of the implementation of the new legislation.