The EB5 Visa Program is due to expire on September 30, 2020, if not reauthorized by Congress. Since 2015 Congress has reauthorized the program for one year or less at a time, bundled within the Continuing Resolutions to fund the government.
In today’s email we will look at some of the legislative details surrounding the EB5 Program as well as what we might expect moving forward into next year. As it stands, and looking forward, this Immigrant Visa continues to remain the de-facto method of choice to immigrate to the USA with your family.
Ins and outs of the legislation
Every September since 2015, the EB5 Program has been extended/ renewed, thus allowing the program to continue for another year. Considering the amount of days left to be able to make amendments, it is assumed it will be reauthorized by Congress without material change.
“While there may be some last minute attempts by industry leaders and the chairman and ranking judiciary committee members to come up with a comprehensive EB-5 reform package, given the broader political climate of election season it appears that there will not be enough time to pass comprehensive legislation regarding the EB-5 Program. Depending upon the makeup of the new Congress in 2021 there may be renewed pushes for revisions to the EB-5 Program and the Regional Center portion.”
What’s different this year?
Bad for the EB5 process. The global pandemic and resulting travel bans make it harder to invest and get the process started. Last month we detailed the process and how it can, in fact, be initiated from abroad.
Good for the EB5 Program. Sectors affected by the coronavirus includes, travel, retail, construction and hospitality. TEA approved EB5 projects are often construction developments and any economic boost in that sectors will be most welcome. In other words, as long as the market is looking for investment capital to develop infrastructure, the EB5 Program Job Creation will remain most welcome.
Good and bad… The Trump administration has been tough on many types of non-immigrant visas, but has largely left the EB5 Program alone, most likely because it brings significant foreign capital into the country, while at the same time creating new American jobs. It’s hard to say what would happen to the program should the President change this coming election, but it’s fair to say that, for the EB5 Visa Program at the least, there should be no future restrictions on this “gift horse”.
Now, for some numbers…
EB5 Application numbers in 2020
Application numbers went way down. This was to be expected as November 21st, 2019 was the last day with the former 500,000 USD (TEA Approved) and 1,000,000 USD (non TEA Approved) program investment amounts. The idea behind doubling the investment amount to 900,000 and 1,800,000 USD was to decrease the petition wait times and keep applicants under the yearly quota amount of 10,000.
According to this website, the i-526 numbers for 2019 and 1st half 2020:
“In Q2 FY2020 (Jan-Mar ‘20), the agency processed 904, I-526 petitions, after just 455 in Q1 (Oct-Dec ‘19). Of note, incoming I-526’s in Q2 2020 plummeted to only 21, after a record amount in Q1. This massive swing reflects petitioners trying to beat the investment amount increase last November and the lull afterwards.”
i-526 Application processing times in 2020
For many countries, the backlog has decreased. The lowered backlog coincide with the decreased application rates, and possibly stem from the investment increase last November from 500,000 to 900,000 (TEA approved) or 1,000,000 to 1,800,000 US (not TEA approved).
According to eb5daily:
“India’s upcoming final action dates advanced more than 6 months. Mainland China’s upcoming final action dates advanced one week and Vietnam’s advanced about three weeks.”
The good news about the increased EB5 Investment amount is that over the next couple of years, it is estimated that the back log could substantially decrease even more, resulting in faster process times and a higher petition success rate for applicants from countries such as China were the yearly number of applicants surpasses the quota.
Looking forward: The Bottom Line
The US economy is currently in need of revitalization and the EB5 Program perfectly fulfills the requisite of creating more American jobs. At the same time, it provides you the investor, your spouse, and your children under 21, the opportunity to obtain your US Green Card, in exchange for your capital investment.
Looking ahead, know that more program changes down the road are inevitable.
If you were already planning to immigrate via the EB5 Program, now is the time to get the process rolling.
With our 100% petition approval rate over years of successful EB5 projects, we can help smooth the process from beginning to end.
Welcome to America.