On March 11, 2022, Congress passed an omnibus spending package that included an EB-5 reform bill known as the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022. This bill was then signed into law on March 15 by President Biden. The Integrity Act introduced significant changes to the EB5 program to protect EB5 investors for years to come. One of the most impactful changes was the reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program.
The EB-5 Regional Center Program was established in 1992, two years after the creation of the EB5 Immigrant Investor Program. Then known as the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, the EB5 Regional Center Program established EB5 regional centers. These entities receive designation from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to administer EB-5 investments and create jobs. Regional center investment has become incredibly popular with investors, with the majority of all EB5 investments made through regional centers. However, despite this popularity, the EB5 Regional Center Program is not a permanent fixture in the EB5 program; it requires periodic reauthorization from Congress to continue operations. Unfortunately, on July 1, 2021, The EB-5 Regional Center Program was officially suspended after failing to receive renewal. It wasn’t until the Integrity Act was signed into law — roughly eight months later — that the program was finally reauthorized. Moreover, the Integrity Act reauthorized the program through September 30, 2027, meaning it will not require renewal until then.
The Integrity Act also changed the minimum EB-5 investment amounts. The threshold for standard investments was raised from $1,000,000 to $1,050,000, and investments in targeted employment areas (TEAs) went from $500,000 to $800,000. Beginning January 1, 2021, and every five years thereafter, these thresholds will be adjusted to account for inflation. The amount for standard investments will be subject to changes according to the Consumer Price Index, and the minimum investment amount for TEA projects will be adjusted to 60% of the standard investment minimum.