EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022
Posted: March 20, 2022
Congress has officially reauthorized the EB-5 Regional Center Investment Program for the next five years. This program allows federally authorized “Regional Centers” to combine the investments of EB-5 visa applicants and use the pool of funds to fuel the U.S. economy. Regional centers can be a public or private economic entity that help economic growth through job creation, increased export sales and increased capital investment in regional businesses. USCIS must approve an application for these entities to be officially designated regional centers.
The EB-5 Visa is an investor visa that allows foreign investors to come to the United States and help strengthen the economy. The visa typically requires that the investment employ a minimum of 10 permanent, full-time positions and invest a minimum amount of capital depending on the type of investment project ($1,050,000 million dollars in a non-TEA area OR $800,000 in a TEA area).
Most EB-5 investments are allocated towards TEA (Targeted Employment Area) designations. These are either rural areas or areas that have higher-than-average rates of unemployment (also called “distressed urban areas”). TEA areas have a need for new capital investments to strengthen their economies and help vitalize their communities. Investments can also be funneled through Infrastructure Projects, through which a governmental entity partners with a regional center to help create jobs.
EB-5 Regional Center Investment Program Reauthorization
The 2022 reauthorization comes with a few key changes:
- Priority processing for rural area projects.
- Investment amounts will adjust according to inflation every 5 years, beginning January 2027.
- Out of the $10,000 EB-5 visas available each year, visa-set aside guidelines apply:
- 20% of visas for rural projects
- 10% of visas for high-unemployment area projects
- 2% for infrastructure projects
- Unused visas will carry over in each category for the following year.
During the global pandemic, the EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program lapsed, leaving many investors in limbo. Pending applications that were placed on hold during this time will begin to be processed. In order to avoid this from happening again, the current program has been reauthorized for the next five years, through 2027. DHS will “grandfather” in investors who have filed their I-526 petition before September 30, 2026. These petitions will still be processed even if the program is not renewed after 2027.
The Regional Center Program also gives eligible investors the opportunity to apply for a Green Card – for themselves as well as their families. This will give eligible investors permanent residency in the U.S. Under the 2022 reform, investors can submit their I-526 visa applications and I-485 green card applications at the same time.
The 2022 EB-5 Reform also emphasizes integrity measures for the visa program. DHS will be increasing measures to prevent visa fraud and immigration abuse. Applying for permanent residency through the EB-5 Regional Center Program is a high-stake and complex process. Contact Mubarak Law to see if you qualify for an EB-5 Visa under the new 2022 Reform and Integrity Act guidelines. Our Orlando immigration attorneys are available at (407) 502 3000. You can also send us a message using the online form located on this page.