Proposed Bill for EB-5 Visas Will Make It Difficult to Qualify
As recently reported by The Real Deal, the increased demand for EB-5 visas could lead to new regulations aimed at curbing the influx of foreign investors. This unprecedented move will make it harder for project developers to attract capital from abroad.
The popular EB-5 visa currently allows foreign investors to fund domestic projects that create American jobs in return for permanent residency. So, what kind of changes are we looking at?
Introduction of a Bipartisan Bill
Well, only last month, one of the EB-5’s biggest critics and Republican senator Charles Grassley teamed up with Sen. Patrick Leahy to come up with a bipartisan bill that’s being viewed as a sort of “compromise”. This is after Grassley took over Leahy’s chairman role on the Senate Judiciary Committee (overseeing immigration reform) last year.
The modifications in the proposed legislation will include raising the minimum foreign investment required for a project in areas with high unemployment from $500,000 to $800,00. For areas with normal unemployment, the minimum investment amount will be raised from $800,000 to $1.2 million. It’d also lower the percentage of indirect employment opportunities created that are counted towards the total job creation for that project.
Backlog of Demand
Despite allocating a total of 100,000 EB-5 visas in 2014, there’s still a backlog of demand, with investors having filed 10,928 applications. That’s a huge increase from 6,346 in 2013, and only 1,258 back in 2008 – so, it’s easy to see how the rise in popularity has been “unprecedented”.
No one can argue the ongoing demand for the EB-5 visa, also its continuation has been in limbo, of sorts, having been due to expire this year on September 30. However, if the new bill is approved by Congress, the EB-5 visa will continue to be available for five more years.
However, the proposed bill does have its critics. Founder of EB-5 consulting firm e-Council, Inc, Lauren Cohen, said that the bill would mean a project developer waiting on approval from immigration officials would need to ask investors to cough up an extra $300,000.
Why Legal Help for the EB-5 Visa is Important
It is not simply enough to offer to invest in the U.S. to get a Green Card. Although the funds are appreciated, there are still specific requirements that need to be met in order to obtain an EB-5 visa. Since there is a lot of paperwork involved, applicants for this visa will often enlist the help of a legal immigration professional who has the knowledge of how to present an application package to convince immigration officers of an investor’s merit. That’s where we at Visaplace come in handy.
We have helped hundred of investors to successfully get U.S. permanent residence through E-B5 applications, and we can help you too!
The first step towards a successful E-B5 application is getting an assessment of your case. Fill out our free immigration assessment form and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and options.
About Michael Niren
Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more
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