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Proposed Legislation Would Increase EB-5 Visa Availability and Change Minimum Investment Requirements

A bill proposed by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) has been heralded by real estate experts and other industries that rely on EB-5 investors. If passed, the spouse and children of an EB-5 visa holder would no longer count toward the annual visa cap of 10,000, which would increase the number of investors who qualify for EB-5 visas.

The bill also proposes an increase in the minimum investment requirement in targeted employment areas from $500,000 to $800,000 and a reduction in the minimum investment for non-targeted areas from $1 million to $925,000.

According to The Real Deal, real estate experts hope the bill will pass at the end of September. If the bill does not pass, they expect U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to make a similar change to the EB-5 visa program.

If you are a foreign entrepreneur who is interested in obtaining an EB-5 visa, or if you are a U.S.-based company seeking investments through the EB-5 program, contact Kuck Immigration Partners. Charles Kuck is a green card attorney in Atlanta who can answer your questions and help you navigate U.S. immigration laws. Call 404-816-8611 today to schedule a consultation.

What Is Considered a “Targeted Employment Area” under the EB-5 Visa Program?

A targeted employment area is a rural area or a region with high unemployment. According to USCIS, a rural area is a region that is outside of a metropolitan statistical area as defined by the Office of Management and Budget, or outside the boundary of any town or city with a population of 20,000 or more.

In order to qualify as a region with high unemployment, the unemployment rate must be at least 150 percent of the national average rate.

What Is the Job Creation Requirement of the EB-5 Visa Program?

Making a qualifying investment is just one requirement of the EB-5 visa program. In order for the investor and his or her family to remain in the United States, the investment must meet the EB-5 program’s job creation requirement.

If the foreign entrepreneur invests in a new commercial enterprise, the investment must create at least 10 full-time positions for qualifying employees. If the enterprise is not located within a regional center, only jobs that are directly created count toward the total. That means an employer-employee relationship must be established between the employee and the new commercial enterprise.

If the enterprise is located within a regional center, jobs that are created either indirectly or directly will count toward the total. An indirect job is one that is outside of the new commercial enterprise but created as a result of the new commercial enterprise.

If the foreign entrepreneur invests in a troubled business, job maintenance may count toward the job creation total.

If you have questions about the EB-5 visa program, turn to Kuck Immigration Partners. Charles Kuck is the past President of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL). Call 404-816-8611 to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer in Atlanta.


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