The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announce that the long-warned significant changes to the EB-5 Investment program for foreigners have been finalized.

According to a press release of the USCIS, this is the first significant revision of the program’s regulations since 1993. The new changes among others include an increased minimum investment amounts for 80%.

“As of the effective date of the final rule, the standard minimum investment level will increase from $1 million to $1.8 million, the first increase since 1990, to account for inflation. The rule also keeps the 50% minimum investment differential between a TEA and a non-TEA, thereby increasing the minimum investment amount in a TEA from $500,000 to $900,000. The final rule also provides that the minimum investment amounts will automatically adjust for inflation every five years,” the press release reads.

Other main changes that will soon be applied to the system are: revised standards for certain targeted employment area (TEA) designations, giving the agency the responsibility for directly managing TEA designations, clarifying USCIS procedures for the removal of conditions on permanent residence, as well as allowing EB-5 petitioners to retain their priority date under certain circumstances.

The USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli said that the reforms would increase the investment level to account for inflation over the last 30 years, since the program was introduced by the US Congress with the sole purpose of benefiting US workers, boosting the economy, and aiding distressed communities.

“Since its inception, the EB-5 program has drifted away from Congress’s intent. Our reforms increase the investment level to account for inflation over the past three decades and substantially restrict the possibility of gerrymandering to ensure that the reduced investment amount is reserved for rural and  high-unemployment areas most in need. This final rule strengthens the EB-5 program by returning it to its Congressional intent,” she said.

The final rule has been published today, July 24, in the Federal Register of the US government, and will be effective as of November 21, 2019.

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