EB-5 Impending Changes

 

PR_Visa_WP

Given all the turmoil with the new executive orders from the new administration in 2017 — along with the rumors of unsigned executive orders and proposed bills floating around — we’ve been trying to wait for some of the dust to settle before commenting on any of the substantive changes.

There is however, a proposed rule, which will change some aspects of the EB-5 Investment Immigrant Visa, some significantly.

Entitled, “EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization” — the main points are:

  1. The minimum investment amount in a Targeted Employment Area will increase from $500,000 USD to $1.35 million USD.
  2. All other areas will increase the investment amount from $1 million USD to $1.8 million USD.
  3. The ability to designate Targeted Employment Areas will be taken away from the individual state and be given to the Department of Homeland Security.

The proposals are significant, raising the capital amount to 80%.  This will affect the EB-5 market in the United States.

These are proposed rule changes, so unlike other rumors of unsigned executive orders and proposed legislation that have little chance of passing (the proposed bill to abolish the EB-5 visa altogether), so they will most likely go into effect.

The comment period for the proposed rules above ends April 11, 2017.  At which point, USCIS can propose amended rules OR publish the final rule at any point afterwards.  Then the rules go into effect in 30 days.  So the earliest the changes can take place are May 11, 2017, although realistically speaking it will be sometime afterward.

Keep in mind that this separate from the EB-5 Regional Center program expiration which is set for April 28, 2017.  A lot of things happening in April — it is the cruelest month.

For those who are interested, the full body of the proposed rule changes are on the official government website, the Federal Register.

News of these changes have hit the mainstream financial press:

Barron’s

Forbes

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Worldwide Passports for Sale

 

We essentially focus on US based immigration.  People who want to come into the United States to invest and set up businesses primarily.

It’s interesting to see what other countries are doing in this regard.  The US is unique because it has its focus on job creating enterprises with no US guarantees.  Other countries (such as Canada) allow direct investment into the government and the government guarantees the investment.  Other places require investment into properties (the US specifically forbids “passive” investments, which covers a lot of real estate transactions).

NPR did a segment on the sale of passports that was interesting to say the least.

Check it out:  Passports for Sale

 

 

 

Start-up Tales via an E-2: “How I hacked my US start-up”

A great narrative concerning Mike Galarza, the CEO of Entryless, a Silicon Valley startup.  

It’s deals with some of the complex issues dealing with attempting a start-up as a foreign national and what Mike did to make it work — despite working under the heavy burdens of consular processing and starting a business. 

The full story on Quartz.