The Senate approved a reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program – the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (“Integrity Act”) – on March 10, 2022, as part of the FY 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Bill. The same bill had been passed by the House the night before. Last June 30, 2021, the EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program expired. President Biden was delivered the bill, which he is anticipated to sign on or before March 15, 2022.
Before the Bill was signed, the American Immigrant Investor Alliance (AIIA) broke the news by tweeting, “It is our great pleasure to announce that the EB-5 Regional Center program will be reauthorized with the Omnibus on March 15, 2022. The text of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 was just released and Division BB, includes the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022. The omnibus also includes our FIFPA language (Section 108 of Division BB) which will ensure that investors will not have to suffer through this ordeal ever again.”
What Are the New EB-5 Visa Changes?
The Integrity Act includes the following important reforms to the EB-5 program:
- A five-year reauthorization of the EB-5 regional center program through September 30, 2027.
- A new section authorizing the grandfathering of any petitions on file in the event the program was to lapse again in the future.
- The new minimum investment amount will be $1,050,000, which is reduced to $800,000 if the EB-5 project is located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) or is an infrastructure project. A TEA includes an area of high unemployment or a rural area, and must qualify under the same requirements as the previous EB-5 regulations that were introduced in 2019. An infrastructure project is a public works project in which a governmental entity is the job-creating entity that receives the EB-5 capital from the new commercial enterprise.
- Specific visa set-asides for rural, high-unemployment, and infrastructure projects.
- Language to prioritize the processing and adjudication of rural petitions.
- Language eliminating geographic limitations on investor capital redeployment.
- Language allowing investors to count both indirect and direct positions for job creation purposes.
- The Act includes numerous stringent new requirements for regional centers in relation to securities compliance, record keeping, ownership, and administration.
- All regional centers will undergo a USCIS audit at least once every 5 years.
- Additionally, a new integrity fund has been created in which regional centers must contribute $10,000-$20,000 annually (depending on the size of the regional center) to allow the USCIS to investigate and monitor the all of the parties within the EB-5 industry to ensure compliance.
Not only will the new law resurrect the Regional Center program, but it will also add new integrity controls that will be applied to all aspects of the new EB-5 program. This is great news, particularly for those investors whose monies had been committed to an investment but who had been unable to get green cards due to the Regional Center program’s closure.
Do You Want to Apply for the EB-5 Investor Visa?
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