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USCIS Publishes Draft Regulations To Increase Drastically The Minimum Required Investment Amount

On January 11, 2017, USCIS published a draft of regulations with which it intends to increase the minimum required investment amount, for investments in Targeted Employment Areas ("TEAs"), to $1.3 million. This is an astounding 260% increase of the minimum required investment amount! USCIS would increase the required investment amount in non-TEAs to $1.8 million, which is an 80% increase. Click here to visit the Federal Register website where you can see USCIS's announcement.

This is not the final rule, and USCIS will certainly face strong opposition to such a drastic increase in the investment amount. The whole rationale for why Congress has been considering increasing the required investment amount under the EB-5 program has been to adjust the investment amount to account for inflation since implementation of the regional center EB-5 program in 1992. If USCIS were truly interested in adjusting the $500,000 investment amount for the 2.24% average annual inflation rate from 1992 to 2016, then $850,955 should have been the new minimum required investment amount. This proposed new investment amount certainly gives the impression that USCIS just made up a number, perhaps one that they figure will decrease demand and, hence, the volume of cases that they have to process, which will make it easier for them to work through their current processing backlog and not fall further behind, bearing in mind that USCIS currently has a backlog because they were very hesitant and slow to increase their staff of EB-5 examiners sufficiently to handle the large volume of cases that they had to process due to the increasing popularity of the EB-5 program. Therefore, they might be thinking that if they can greatly diminish demand for the program, then their backlog and staffing problems will be solved.

The bottom line is that the $500,000 minimum required investment amount will be in effect until April 28, 2017, and so if you are interested to immigrate under the EB-5 program at the $500,000 investment amount, then you need to proceed now, not later.

 

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