What Reforms Are Coming to the EB-5 Program

The EB-5 visa program was introduced in 1990. Over the last 30 years, it’s been growing in popularity particularly with Chinese citizens who wish to immigrate to the United States. Only 10,000 of these visas are available every year, and it’s only in recent years that there has been a threat of reaching that cap. Last year, there were 8,500 EB-5 visas issued. However, with a new administration in the White House comes reforms to almost every aspect of immigration, including the EB-5. EB-5 lawyers are getting a lot of questions from their clients. What reforms are coming? Are those reforms going to impact your immigration status? Let’s take a look at what reforms are going to be likely coming to the EB-5 program.

Changes That Could Be Coming to EB-5

  • An evener distribution of investment money. Some members of Congress are concerned that so much of the investment money goes into urban projects instead of working to stimulate rural areas. However, many investors like to put their money in urban projects because they see them as having a better chance of created the required 10 jobs in two years required for them to remain in the country.
  • The amount required for the investment ($1,000,000 in most cases, $500,000 under special circumstances) was established more than 30 years ago when the program started. Some members of congress feel that this amount should be increased. One of the new proposed investment amounts is $1.35 to $1.85 million.

When Those Changes Will Happen

It might not be anytime soon, actually. Congress has been talking about making changes to the EB-5 program for the last two years but Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on what those changes should actually be. Because of this, they’ve been extending the program for three and six months at a time while they debate. The next deadline is at the end of April of this year, and it looks like the program will likely be continued as-is again for another short extension.

Could the Program Be Canceled?

It’s unlikely. The EB-5 program is good for both the people who want to invest in American jobs and immigrate to the United States and developers who need the capital. The money from Eb-5 investors has been key in major developments across the United States. It’s unlikely that members of Congress will want to take those funds away from job-creating projects in their districts.

Talk to Your EB-5 Lawyer About Your Concerns

EB-5 lawyers are going to be monitoring the situation closely. If congress moves to reform the program, they’ll be the first to know about it. It’s important that you have an experienced EB-5 lawyer helping you with your case and that they communicate with you regularly about any changes that could affect you. If you are concerned about any of the changes that could be coming to the EB-5 program, call your lawyer right away. As of right now, it doesn’t look like any changes are imminent, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the news if you are considering applying for the EB-5 program soon.