ATLANTA, Georgia. Under the EB-5 visa program, foreign investors can receive a green card if they invest at least $500,000 and create full-time positions for at least 10 employees in what the U.S. deems to be a targeted employment area. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “targeted employment areas” are rural areas or high unemployment areas. If a foreign investor wants to invest in another area (one that isn’t a targeted employment area), the minimum investment is $1 million and the investment must create at least 10 new full-time jobs. This is the information currently on USCIS’s website. However, Forbes reports that the Department of Homeland Security has proposed that the investment amounts for “targeted employment areas” be increased from $500,000 to $1.35 million. While these increases have not been made official, it raises some questions for investors considering the program. The EB-5 investment program is just one of many visa programs whose fate has been thrown into uncertainty by the Trump administration.
But, this is not the only issue the program has been facing. According to Politico, the wait times for EB-5 applicants to receive a green card and U.S. residency have dragged on to as long as 15 years due to backlogs. If the investment falls through or if there is any issue, there aren’t clear guidelines about what will happen to the investors’ visas. Reports indicate that the long wait times have led to many investors pulling back and choosing alternatives to the program. Some believe that investment in the U.S. might slow as a result of the backlogs.
According to Forbes, the program drew Chinese investors in high numbers, with approximately 85% of the green cards issued for the EB-5 being Chinese investors. For many investors, the program has served a path for family immigration to the U.S. In some cases, investors were able to bring their whole families to the U.S. under this visa. For Chinese investors who wanted their children to attend U.S. high schools and universities, the program was a path to make those dreams a reality.
However, some Chinese investors have stopped seeing the program as a viable option for immigration because of the long wait times. Some investors have had to wait as long as 15 years before their green cards were finally approved. As a result of uncertainty about the program, many investors have chosen to look into alternatives to the EB-5 visa.
Many investors put money into real estate development because these projects created jobs. Other investors start companies in the U.S. or purchase struggling companies.
Is the EB-5 visa right for you? Are you looking for ways to immigrate to the U.S.? Kuck Baxter Immigration are immigration lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia who can take a look at your situation and who may be able to run through your options for immigration to the U.S. There are many immigration options available for business owners, executives, CEOS, and investors. Let Kuck Baxter Immigration guide you through your options.
Kuck Baxter Immigration Partners, L.L.C.
365 Northridge Road
Atlanta, GA 30350