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USCIS's Proposed EB-5 Required Investment Amount Increase On Hold For Now

Just to update you on USCIS's proposal to increase the minimum required investment amounts under the EB-5 program, immediately upon taking office, President Trump placed a moratorium on all regulations proposed by federal agencies. Therefore, USCIS's proposal to increase the required investment amount to $1.3 million in TEAs and $1.8 million in non-TEAs is on hold until further notice, and might ultimately be abandoned.

In the meantime, I have spoken with a manager at a leading regional center who is actively involved in lobbying efforts in Congress, and has extensive knowledge of what is being discussed and negotiated among members of Congress. This person explained that USCIS may have been motivated to propose such an extreme increase in the EB-5 investment amount in a concerted effort with Congress (or in an effort to please Congress) to motivate regional centers and their lobbyists to make their peace with more moderate investment increases being proposed in Congress. In more recent negotiations in Congress, in an effort to reach compromise between members of Congress from urban and rural areas, who have been locked in a relentless conflict over reforming rules for designating TEAs, a proposal was made to lower the minimum required investment amount in non-TEAs to $650,000, and to raise the minimum required investment amount in TEAs and rural areas to $600,000. This arrangement would then not disadvantage to such a great extent urban areas that might no longer qualify as TEAs under more restrictive rules for designating TEAs that have figured prominently in the recent proposals for EB-5 program reform from members of Congress from rural areas who are in leading positions on the Judiciary Committees, in the House and Senate, and have been pressing hard for such changes to the program, in an apparent attempt to make their rural regions more attractive for EB-5 projects at the expense of urban areas, which have thus far attracted the vast majority of EB-5 investment.

We will keep you posted as further, more concrete details emerge.

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Anthony Olson, P.A. - Sarasota Immigration Attorney 
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Telephone:  +1 (941) 362-7100 
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