On November 8, 2021, the United States lifted restrictions on international travel from 33 countries, including the U.K., much of the EU, India, Brazil, and China. These measures had been in place since early 2020.
All noncitizens entering the United States must be fully vaccinated with a World Health Organization (WHO)-approved vaccine. Moreover, all travelers must present a negative COVID test taken within the previous three days. U.S. citizens will not need to show proof of vaccination, but any unvaccinated citizens must present a negative COVID test taken within the past day. International travelers who are under 18 or from countries where vaccines are scarce do not need to show proof of vaccination.
Airlines are preparing to accommodate a surge in travelers starting in November 2021. In fact, airline travel marketplace Hopper noted a 32% spike in searches for international flights to the U.S. after the government announced that it would lift the travel ban. A 160% increase in round-trip flights from Europe to the United States was also reported.
Effect on the EB-5 Industry
The EB-5 investment industry has celebrated the government’s decision to reopen travel from the formerly banned countries; many EB-5 stakeholders predict that interest in the EB-5 program will increase significantly once international travel is back in full swing. Now, foreign nationals will be able to enter the United States and evaluate EB-5 investment opportunities firsthand. Potential EB-5 investors will also be able to meet project developers in person, which may motivate them to subscribe and begin the EB5 investment process. It is significant that many countries with a high volume of EB-5 investors, including Brazil and China, had previously been unable to enter the United States.
In addition to the return of widespread international travel, the EB-5 investment industry is also benefitting from the June 2021 repeal of the Modernization Rule. This court ruling lowered the minimum investment amount for targeted employment area (TEA) projects to only $500,000, thus opening up the EB-5 industry to many more foreign nationals.
The coming months seem promising for the EB-5 investment industry; the more accessible investment thresholds and a rebound in international travel to the United States will surely increase the EB-5 program’s popularity. EB5 Affiliate Network (EB5AN) offers best-in-class consulting services for EB-5 investors and project developers, helping both groups comply with EB-5 regulations.