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USCIS makes significant changes to EB-5 immigrant investor program

  1. Date Announced

    July 24, 2019

    USCIS final rule makes changes to the EB-5 immigrant investor program, including increasing the standard investment threshold to $1.8 million (from $1 million) and the minimum Targeted Employment Area (TEA) investment to $900,000 (from $500,000). The new rule, signed by Acting Secretary McAleenan, will also grant USCIS the authority to designate high unemployment TEAs, eliminating state involvement, and restrict a TEA to the immediate area around an EB-5 project.

    [ID #544]

    See Biden administration action below.

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Nov. 21, 2019
  3. Subsequent Action

    November 10, 2020

    USCIS provided a video of an online presentation with updates to the EB-5 immigrant investor program and responses to recently submitted questions. You can find the video here.

    Updates on EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
  4. Subsequent Action

    March 31, 2021

    DHS Secretary Mayorkas notifies the court in Behring Regional Center v. Wolf of the Biden Administration's ratification of the July 24, 2019 final rule.

    Ratification Notice
  5. Subsequent Action

    June 22, 2021

    On June 22, 2021, a magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California vacated the Final Rule and remanded the matter to the Agency for further action. The vacatur is nationwide in scope and effective immediately. Magistrate Judge Corley granted summary judgment for the plaintiffs, ruling that Acting Secretary McAleenan's promulgation of the Final Rule was defective as he was not properly serving in his position at the time and that Secretary Mayorkas's ratification of the rule did not cure its defects.

    **Litigation is listed for informational purposes and is not comprehensive. For the current status of legal challenges, check other sources.**

    2021.06.22 Behring Regional Ctr. v. Wolf - Order Granting Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment
  6. Subsequent Action

    District Court denies preliminary injunction in suit by regional immigrant investor center in Florida to temporarily block the final regulation overhauling the EB-5 program.

    **Litigation is listed for informational purposes and is not comprehensive. For the current status of legal challenges, check other sources.**

    Florida EB5 Investments, LLC v. Wolf et al Memorandum Opinion
  7. Biden Administration Action

    July 1, 2021

    This Biden administration action announces agency action in light of the expiration of statutory authorization for the program identified in this entry.

    Statutory authorization related to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program expired at midnight on June 30, 2021. USCIS announced that it will reject all Forms I-924 and I-526 as well as Forms I-485 filed based on an approved I-526 until further notice. USCIS generally will not act on pending petitions affected by the lapse in statutory authority.

    USCIS Alert About the EB-5 Visa Classification
  8. Biden Administration Action

    July 15, 2021

    This Biden administration modifies USCIS policy in response to a court action enjoining the Trump era policy identified in this entry.

    On July 15, 2021, USCIS updated their policy manual to reflect that the District Court for the Northern District of California, in Behring Regional Center LLC v. Wolf, vacated the November 25, 2019 rule changing EB-5 eligibility. Changes were made to Volume 6, Part G, Chapters 1-5.

    2021.07.15 Volume 6, Part G, Chapters 1-5
Type of Action: Rule
Agencies Affected: USCIS DHS

Prior Policies

  • The Obama administration published a proposed rule to revise the immigrant investor program roughly a week before President Donald Trump took office in January 2017. The previous EB-5 program allowed foreigners who invest $1 million in a U.S. commercial project that will create or preserve at least ten jobs to apply for a green card. The investment threshold dropped to $500,000 if the project took place in a high-unemployment or rural area. States decided whether a geographic area qualified for the lower investment threshold.

    About the EB-5 Visa Classification

Subsequent Actions

Biden Administration Actions

Commentary

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