On January 29, 2020 the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made major changes to EB-5 U.S investor-based green card. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor is an immigrant visa program of the United States Government that allows a foreign investor or entrepreneur together with their spouse and children to become a permanent resident of the United States in exchange for an investment in the US economy. To qualify the Eb-5 investor must invest $900,000 in a US business in high-unemployment or rural area or $1.8 million in a US business in an urban area and create or preserve 10 full-time jobs.
Starting on March 31, 2020, the USCIS will use the visa availability approach when reviewing EB-5 investor petitions instead of using the first-in, first-out approach. The new visa availability approach will apply to petitions pending as of March 31, 2020.
With the first in, first out approach the USCIS was reviewing and deciding on the EB-5 investor green card solely based on the date the EB-5 petition was filed and with the visa availability approach, the USCIS will prioritize the approval of the EB-5 investor petitions based on whether a visa number is available to the investor. For a visa number to be available to the investor, his or her country of citizenship must not have reached its quota. As a result, the new visa availability approach favors EB-5 applicants from countries that have fewer applicants.
The EB-5 investor visa is limited to approximately 10,000 green cards annually, although no more than 7% of the total EB-5 green cards available in each year can be issued to anyone country. Principal EB-5 applicants, as well as spouses and dependent children under 21 years of age are included in this quota. For example, for 2019 all the EB-5 investor visas issued to citizens of Italy, including spouses and children of principal EB-5 investor, cannot exceed 7% of all the EB-5 visas issued that year. In the event the country quota is met, the United States Department of State establishes a wait line that determines the order in which immigrant visas are issued.
This new visa availability approach ties the timing of the decision on the EB-5 investor green card petition to whether the limits for the investor’s country of birth have been reached. The goal of this new approach is to speed up processing times for countries that have fewer green card applications. This means that investors from counties with low numbers of applicants such as Italy or Bulgaria, who do not exceed the 7% quota, will have their EB-5 green card petitions reviewed and approved faster. On the other hand, investors from China, Vietnam and India exceed the 7% annual quota and are expected to wait longer for their EB-5 petition to be approved by USCIS under the new approach.
For more information about the EB-5 investor visa contact our Miami, Florida USA EB-5 visa lawyers below. From EB-5 business and franchise selection to the EB-5 Investor Visa application and EB-5 business plan, our experienced Miami Florida business immigration lawyers assist and advise investors and entrepreneurs throughout the EB-5 visa process. We speak English, Romanian, Bulgarian, Russian and Spanish.
Malescu Law P.A. – Immigration Lawyers