EB5 visa is back and better than before

The United States of America is in the process of boosting its investment portfolio to increase foreign business capital, investment and job creation. The United States introduced the EB5 investor visa program in 1990.

The EB5 visa program has undergone several price changes, pauses, enhancements and alterations during this period as a result of changes in Congress.

The program became a boon to foreign business start-ups by being a large inflow of capital into the country. In June 2021, the program was temporarily suspended for lack of unanimous congressional approval. However, President Biden reauthorized the program earlier this year, specifically on March 15, 2022, allowing it to reopen.

The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act was also signed into law, signaling the return of the investment program. Thus, the program is safeguarded by new integrity controls.

In addition, the new legislation reserves 32% of the annual EB-5 immigrant visa cap for certain types of TEA projects. Funding for these types of initiatives will further encourage the flow of investment capital to areas of greatest need.

The types of projects are as follows:

  • 20% of EB-5 immigration visas are reserved for foreign nationals investing in a rural area of the United States.
  • 10% is reserved for foreign nationals investing in areas of high unemployment identified by the USCIS.
  • 2% of eligible infrastructure projects managed by a federal, state or municipal government agency are reserved for investors in a new category.

In addition, the U.S. determines EB5 visa quotas each fiscal year. This type of action is beneficial for countries such as the UK which does not have a high demand for EB5 visas. In contrast, in countries such as China, Vietnam and India, the 7% application fees fill up quickly, and it delays investors’ application requests.

On the other hand, if applicants from France only reach 3% of the quota, the remaining places will be given to applicants from countries with greater need. With this new method, numerous additional places can be opened each year.