On Saturday, October 30, 2021, David Enterline of Enterline and Partners Consulting discussed recent changes to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa category (“EB-5”) during an EB-5 webinar organized by Internegra Immigration and Pearl Bay Consulting for Indonesian and Vietnamese investors.
Mr. Enterline explained that in June 2021, in the case of Behring v. DHS, a United States Federal Judge vacated EB-5 regulations implemented in November 2019, determining that those regulations were not lawfully authorized by the improperly appointed Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) at that time. As a result:
- The minimum investment amount in a Targeted Employment Area (“TEA”) was reduced back to $500,000; and,
- TEA rules that were in place under the old regulations are back, and are generally more favorable for investors because they allow for more locations to be designated as TEAs.
The second change to EB-5 is that the Immigrant Investor Program (“Program”), which had always been a “pilot” or temporary test program since the law was passed in 1993, expired on June 30, 2021 and has not yet been reauthorized by Congress. Therefore, EB-5 investments sponsored by regional centers can no longer count indirect job creation. This will disqualify about 98% of EB-5 investor/petitioners who had filed Form I-526 Petitions prior to June 30th. These investors are now in limbo waiting to see if the Congress will reauthorize the Program to provide relief to those investors.
If you are considering investing into a business in the U.S. and immigrating through the EB-5 visa category, the only option available now is making a “Direct EB-5” investment. This means that your business must directly create 10 jobs for U.S. workers. As the EB-5 industry adjusts to the loss of EB-5 regional center sponsored businesses, more and more Direct EB-5 options are becoming available.
For more information about EB-5, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and speak with a U.S. immigration attorney in Ho Chi Minh City, Manila and Taipei.