On May 5, 2017, after months of uncertainty, Congress extended the EB-5 program through September 30, 2017 without changes. However, reform bills have been introduced in the U.S. Senate to increase in the investment amount from $500,000 to $800,000 or $1.35M.
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor program allows investors and their spouse and children to obtain U.S. permanent residency (green cards) by making a $500,000 investment into a U.S. business. Currently, it takes 1.5 to 2 years for EB-5 investors and their dependents to receive U.S. permanent residency (2.5 to 3 years for mainland China-born investors). Notably, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has proposed to exclude EB-5 visas from the 7% per country cap, which would shorten the processing time for Chinese EB-5 applicants.
Compared to the long queue faced by many beneficiaries waiting for their EB-2 or EB-3 priority dates to become current, EB-5 is a much faster alternative, which leads to other benefits:
- Reduced tuition for college-bound children;
- Permanent residency for children before they age-out (at 21); and
- Control over the green card process: loss of employment and employer change will no longer impact work authorization or the GC process.
For employees who are already under employer sponsorship (EB-2 or EB-3), filing an EB-5 petition does not impact the EB-2/EB-3 process. Both may be pursued in parallel and in most cases, particularly for India-born applicants, EB-5 will result in GCs much sooner.
Another helpful feature is that EB-5 investors who invest through a Regional Center do not need to be actively involved in the management of the investment, and therefore, can maintain full-time employment completely unrelated to their EB-5 investment.
You can read our November Newsletter regarding employees in EB-2 who successfully obtained their green card through EB-5 Investment in less than 2 years. Contact your ILG attorney or firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.