Immigration Law

Expert Predicts 'Surge' then 'Decline' due to EB-5 Investor Visa Rule Changes

Shilpa Phadnis, TNN, July 25, 2019

"The US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has just announced an increase in the standard minimum investment amount to $1.8 million, from $1 million. For high unemployment areas, the amount has been increased to $900,000, from $500,000. This marks the first revision to the programme after 1993 and USCIS said it was done to account for inflation. Under the programme – designed to encourage job creation in the US – those investing these amounts become eligible for green cards.

“The new EB-5 changes will affect investors from India in a variety of ways. First, I predict a surge of EB-5 petition filings until November 21. After that, I expect a sharp decline in EB-5 petitions, as fewer people will be able to satisfy the new minimum investment amount,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration law practice at Cornell Law School.

Yale-Loehr said the new rule also makes it harder for projects to qualify as being in high unemployment areas. That means that most new EB-5 projects will be offered at $1.8 million, not $900,000. “That will make it even harder for most Indian investors. India is already backlogged several years for EB-5. That, combined with the price increase, will deter many Indian investors from applying for EB-5 visas after November,” he said."