Update on EB-5 Immigrant Green Card Investor Program - July 2022
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program has undergone substantial change in 2022, and the door is now open for new EB-5 investments into Regional Center projects based on the recently enacted EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA).
WR Immigration Managing Partner Bernie Wolfsdorf (ex-Durban) will be in South Africa from the 10th - 20th September 2022 to meet in-person with prospective clients interested in obtaining lawful permanent residency (a green card) based on investment in a U.S. company. You can schedule a consultation to speak with Bernard by CLICKING HERE.
5 Things to Know About the New EB-5 Program
1. Investment Amounts
The RIA increased the minimum investment amount to $800,000 USD for investments located in rural areas, high unemployment areas, or infrastructure projects. There are also limited “visa reservations” for these investments which can reduce the amount of time an investor waits for the immigrant visa. Investment in other projects require an investment of $1,050,000 USD.
2. Regional Center Designations
A federal court preliminarily overruled USCIS’ abrupt decision that all Regional Center designations in existence prior to the RIA can no longer accept new investors. At this time, all previously designated Regional Centers can continue to conduct business as usual until a final decision is made, or until US Immigration engages in the rule-making process. U.S. entities can also file for new Regional Center designations by submitting the new Form I-956.
3. EB-5 Projects and New Form I-526E
Designated Regional Centers can now submit a new Form I-956F to request approval of an EB-5 Project. This application (just the filing, not approval) is required before an immigrant investor can submit a new Form I-526E EB-5 application based on an investment in the EB-5 Project. These applications must include a comprehensive business plan for a specific capital investment project, supported by credible economic analysis regarding the estimated job creation, as well as investment and offering documentation to comply with the securities laws of the United States. The Form I-526E will also contain a legal brief prepared by immigration counsel specifying how the investment capital in the EB-5 Project was lawfully obtained and transferred to the United States.
4. Adjustment of Status for Pending Form I-526s
One of the biggest benefits of the RIA is that individuals lawfully admitted in the United States can file a Form I-485 adjustment of status application (along with applications for work and travel authorization) before the Form I-526 is approved. In certain circumstances, this can provide a lawful way to remain in the United States and potentially speed up the overall green card process, however, there are important legal and practical implications that need to be considered prior to filing such an adjustment application, including status, admissibility and pre-conceived intent issues.
5. Due Diligence and Timing
The most important issue of EB-5 is to undertake due diligence on potential investment project, to ensure that the immigration benefit is secure, and that the investment funds will be returned at the appropriate time. Additionally, green card applicant needs to have a realistic expectation on processing times to plan their lives. While EB-5 processing times have been slow due to COVID-19 and USCIS’ self-imposed Regional Center “lapse”, USCIS Director Ur Jaddou has promised to increase staffing of adjudicators and reduce backlogs that were created in the prior Administration. In some cases it may be advisable to consider a short-term U.S. immigration plan, in parallel with an EB-5 application.
Schedule a WhatsApp call with Bernie wolfsdorf (firstname.lastname@example.org) or his partner Joe Barnett (JBarnett@wolfsdorf.com) to discuss whether you might qualify, and then meet with Bernie Wolfsdorf in-person between 10th - 20th September, 2022. Limited slots still available.
Bernie is the former national president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. A graduate of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, he is managing partner of WR Immigration and has helped hundreds of Saffas immigrate to the U.S.. WR Immigration is a law firm with about two hundred employees and ten offices. See www.wolfsdorf.com
Joe Barnett is a partner at WR immigration and has many years’ experience with EB-5. He sits on the editorial Board of IIUSA, the industry trade association.