For decades since its inception in 1990, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme, the US golden visa equivalent, has been popular amongst families in the Middle East and surrounding emerging countries as a way to migrate to the US and realize their goal of the American dream. The EB-5 programme was created by the US Congress to stimulate the economy through job creation and injection of foreign capital. Through an investment of $800,000 in a new commercial enterprise in the United States, investors can apply to receive Green Cards for themselves and their qualifying dependents, including spouses and children under the age of 21.
The EB-5 programme is an investment in a family’s future. With a Green Card in hand, families can ensure that their children have access to high quality education, better healthcare, and greater career opportunities. Green Card holders can freely reside in the US and benefit from the country’s strong economy and political stability. As one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, living in the US provides great opportunities for personal and professional growth for its residents.
To add to the appeal of the programme, the US government passed new regulations in March, creating more transparency and security for existing EB-5 applicants and prospective investors. Through the enactment of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA), the EB-5 programme has become a more attractive immigration path for families that have set their eyes on obtaining US residency. “With the passage of the RIA, we are seeing renewed interest in the EB-5 programme and a rush of applications from new investors,” says Shai Zamanian, Legal Director of The American Legal Center, a top immigration consultancy with their headquarters based in Dubai. “The EB-5 programme has always been a great way for families to migrate to the US and it has now become even more enticing due to the positive changes to the programme,” urges Zamanian.
The RIA provided reauthorisation for the EB-5 programme through September 2027, which is the longest reauthorisation provided by Congress since 2015. This provides security and comfort for EB-5 investors in knowing that the programme will not face suspensions during this time period. It is also an indication from the US government regarding the important role of the EB-5 programme and the injection of foreign capital in boosting and elevating the US economy. Additionally, in accordance with the grandfathering provision of the Act, petitions filed on or before September 30, 2026, will continue to be adjudicated even upon the expiration of the EB-5 programme.
Shorter Wait Times
The greater appeal of the EB-5 programme also stems from the fact that there is no longer any backlog for nationals of countries that previously faced retrogression, such as Indian nationals. According to the August 2022 Visa Bulletin published by the United States Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs, the EB-5 programme is now “current”, meaning that there is no backlog for petitioners. The only current backlog is for applicants born in Mainland China; however, given new provisions of the RIA including rural visa set asides, it is possible for Chinese nationals to obtain approvals much quicker than before.
File Now and Immediately Work and Live in the US
In addition to quicker processing times, EB-5 applicants can take advantage of concurrent filing, which is a new concept in the EB-5 programme provided by the RIA. Previously, investors would have had to wait for their EB-5 application to be adjudicated prior to living and working in the US. However, with addition of the new provision, certain applicants residing in the US can now apply for their adjustment of status application along with their EB-5 application. Concurrent filing allows EB-5 investors to live and work in the US while they await the adjudication of their Green Card application.
More Protection for Existing EB-5 Investors
The RIA has strengthened the security of the EB-5 programme for its participants by requiring more responsibility and compliance for regional centres. This gives investors further assurance that the entity with which they are investing will be held accountable for their operations. Furthermore, the RIA contains a new provision for the protection of innocent good faith investors. If a regional centre or the investment enterprise is terminated, EB-5 investors will not lose their place in line and will have six months to find another regional centre to sponsor their investment.
Join the Seminar to Learn More
As thought leaders in the EB-5 industry, the team at The American Legal Center continues to host complimentary seminars to educate the Middle East market about this immigration path to the US. Having filed the most EB-5 applications out of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, the experience of the team at The American Legal Center is plentiful. By attending their upcoming seminar, you can take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of the team and speak to US licensed lawyers that have been active in the EB-5 industry for over a decade.
The American Legal Center is hosting their next seminar on Saturday, September 17 at the Address Skyview Hotel in Downtown Dubai. The seminar will be divided into two sessions; one at 2 pm and another at 4 pm. Join to start your migration journey to the US and to learn more about the EB-5 programme.
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