EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme

The pathway to U.S. green card and residency

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Published: Wed 17 Nov 2021, 11:24 AM

The United States EB-5 Immigrant Investor programme provides prospective investors and their immediate family members with an opportunity to obtain U.S. green card and residency, through the investment of $500,000 into an approved government project. On approval of their U.S. green cards, applicants and their dependents have access to the United States and the plethora of benefits that come with being a U.S. citizen.

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The United States has continuously proven to be at the forefront of people’s minds when it comes to stability, technology advancements, groundbreaking healthcare systems, high quality education, and an overall progressive quality of life, not only for the investor and their immediate family members, but also for their multigenerational future. Partaking in the EB-5 programme is not only about the investors’ immediate goals of relocation to the U.S., it is also about considering where and what the future is or can be for their children and their grandchildren. Through understanding the benefits obtained from being a U.S. green card holder, investors are automatically being proactive in ensuring that they are providing a more stable and secure future for their families. While the programme only allows for the primary family members to be included in the initial application, namely; the investor, spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years, once the investor and dependents have their permanent U.S. green cards, they are able to sponsor their extended family members allowing them an opportunity to access the United States.

As of June 30, 2021, the EB-5 regional centre programme reached its sunset date due to the U.S. government’s lack of reauthorisation of the programme. Congress created the EB-5 regional centre route as an alternative investment model for families that still wanted to participate in the EB-5 programme but did not want to be burdened with the risks and liabilities associated with direct investment. The regional centre route thus grew to become a more popular EB-5 investment model among prospective investors as they would still be able to obtain the same U.S. benefits with limited exposure and liability to them and their investments. Additionally, the requirement for 10 jobs provided to U.S. citizens per investor, is calculated differently with the regional centre route. However, the lack of reauthorisation of the programme meant that all applicants that were positioning to submit their applications post the sunset date were unable to apply. It must be mentioned that a few days prior to the programme reaching its sunset date, the required investment amount decreased from $900,000 to a requirement of $500,000. A truly monumental moment for the programme and those that have been waiting since November 2019 to partake in it. The decrease in required capital investment made the programme more attainable for the middle class families that are often at the frontlines of EB-5 applications.

According to various EB-5 industry experts and lobbyists, the EB-5 regional centre programme has been included in the legislative piece that is expected to be passed on December 3. Under this new legislative piece, it is proposed that the programme receive a 10 year extension, which will prevent it from requiring annual reauthorisation from Congress. It is highly expected that the programme will return at $500,000 for only a short period of time. The initial increase in capital investment by the Trump administration in November 2019, was due to the fact that the programme was not in line with the current inflation rate. While it can be argued that the increase to $900,000 was a steep jump from $500,000, it must be noted that the reasoning behind the increase was valid. Compared to other national immigration programmes in various other countries, there have been multiple price increases to keep up with the growing popularity of the programmes and the inflation rate. The EB-5 immigrant investor programme has been at the same level for almost three decades. Understanding the need for the U.S. government to adjust the programme per the inflation rate coupled with the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkors’ reaffirmation of the $900,000 capital investment, through the attempt to ratify the Trump administration modernisation rule of 2019, a price increase is imminent. Shai Zamanian, U.S. licensed lawyer and EB-5 expert, states that “There is a short window for prospective investors to capture the $500,000 investment capital. The United States citizenship and immigration services will eventually release updated policy changes that introduce the new proposed investment amount, while they work on updating the EB-5 policies, prospective investors will have a chance to submit their applications under the current $500,000 rules.”

The American Legal Centre is a team of U.S. licensed lawyers that have been providing extensive information regarding the progress and future of the EB-5 programme. In the Middle East, they have filled the most EB-5 applications and continue to be the number one drivers towards educating the market on not only the benefits of participating in the EB-5 programme, but also the key components to consider when making the investment. They host monthly seminars that allow for prospective investors to interact with the U.S. licensed attorneys and provide holistic information on how each applicant can navigate their way through the EB-5 programme.

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