The EB-5 program may finally see lasting legislative reform as soon as March 11, 2022. A draft of an EB-5 reform bill was leaked on March 7, 2022, which is expected to be proposed and voted on by Congress as part of the upcoming March 11 omnibus spending package.
The bill looks to have the approval of all major stakeholders and if passed by Congress, will immediately increase the minimum EB-5 investment amount from $500K to $800K in targeted employment areas (TEAs).
Below is a summary of the key terms of the draft bill.
- Reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program
The EB-5 regional center program will be reauthorized and would not require a subsequent reauthorization until 2027.
- Changes to Investment Amounts
For projects located in targeted employment areas (TEAs), the minimum investment amount will be increased to $800,000. For projects not located in TEAs, the minimum investment amount will be $1,050,000. These investment amounts would be automatically adjusted, starting in January 2027, in $50,000 increments based on the cumulative annual percentage change in the unadjusted consumer price index for all urban consumers as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Redefinition of Targeted Employment Area
TEAs are still defined as either areas of high unemployment or rural areas.
- Redefinition of High Unemployment Area
High unemployment TEAs are now limited to immediately contiguous census tracts with a weighted average unemployment rate of at least 150% of the national average.
- Redefinition of Rural Area
Rural areas are still defined as those outside the boundary of a city or town with a population of at least 20,000 and outside of a metropolitan statistical area.
- Addition of Reserved Visas for Certain TEAs
A special allocation of 20% of all annual EB-5 visas will be set aside for qualified immigrants who invest in projects in rural area TEAs. A special allocation of 10% of all annual EB-5 visas will be set aside for would be reserved for qualified immigrants who invest in projects in high unemployment TEAs. A special allocation of 2% of all annual EB-5 visas will be set aside for qualified immigrants who invest in infrastructure projects.
- Changes to Capital Redeployment
If a job creating entity (JCE) repays EB-5 capital to the new commercial enterprise (NCE) before the end of the risk period for one or more EB-5 investors, the NCE may now redeploy the EB-5 capital anywhere in the United States or its territories.
- Potential for Priority Processing for Certain Investments
Some type of priority processing procedures may be established for EB-5 investments in projects in rural area TEAs.
- Addition of Other Integrity Measures
Regional centers will be required to file annual compliance certifications, which will include statements of compensation paid to agents, finders, or broker dealers along with their contact information. Additionally, an EB-5 Integrity Fund will be established to provide for monitoring, investigating, and ensuring compliance with the program. The EB-5 Integrity Fund will be funded by a new annual regional center fee of $20,000 for regional centers that had more than 20 investors in the preceding fiscal year and $10,000 for regional centers with at least one but less than 20 investors in the preceding fiscal year.
Again, these changes to the EB-5 program as currently drafted may or may not be included in the final language of the bill, may be subsequently modified as the bill is negotiated, and may or may not ultimately be passed by Congress.
The window of opportunity to make a direct EB-5 investment at $500,000 is closing. These reforms may, in some form, be adopted as part of the March 11, 2022, omnibus bill. Prospective EB-5 investors who wish to lock in the reduced $500,000 investment amount must file their I-526 petitions before March 11, 2022.
EB5 Affiliate Network has several direct EB-5 projects available at $500,000, but demand for these projects is high and spots are limited. We can help investors connect with highly qualified immigration attorneys with the capacity to quickly file I-526 petitions prior to March 11, 2022, and we are willing to accept partial filings with less than the $500,000 invested at the time of I-526 petition submission to provide maximum flexibility for our EB-5 investor clients.
For more information or to get connected with an EB-5 immigration attorney who can file your I-526 petition prior to March 11, 2022, at the reduced $500,000 investment amount, please immediately email firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a one-on-one call with a member of our team.