At BAI Capital it’s our job to keep you current of your Immigration options for the US. Together, we can help you make the best immigration decisions and form the right strategy for you and your family.
Today we will go over some of the biggest US EB-5 Program news from 2020 and share what we feel you can expect in 2021.
2020 Visa summary
The biggest news in 2020 regarding the EB5 Visa Program actually came about in late 2019 when the investment amount doubled from $450,000 to $900,000 USD. That news caused a surge of i-526 applications before the changes wen into effect. Followed by a significant drop of applications throughout 2020.
This has led to a decrease in wait time as back-orders from many countries have now been leveled out. Applicants from China and India still face longer than average wait times, due to the high amounts of applicants over the last several years. Applicants from other countries will see better turnaround times from when they file the i-526 petition and when it gets processed.
In other Visa news, updates to the H1B Specialty Occupation Visa in October were restrictive and were interpreted as meaning it will be harder to both receive and renew this work visa.
In September, he F1 Student Visa faced proposed restrictions by the (outgoing) Trump, reducing the length of F1 Visas as well as the ease of renewal.
The E2 Treaty Investor Visa regulations changed in June in regards to interpretation of whether the applicant is deemed a threat to naturalized American’s jobs.
COVID effects on travel and immigration
The significant investment amount required to petition for a US Green Card via the EB5 Program naturally followed proper due diligence by the immigrant investor. Before COVID-19, it was common for the petitioner to visit the EB5 firm and their development fund prior to making the investment/ petition. With travel restrictions. quarantines and a new standard of “non-travel” potential petitioners are having a hard time committing to making this US Green Card Investment. It is however possible to start the process from abroad. If you would like to know more about that click the link or book a meeting where we will gladly answer your questions.
The H1B Visa holder had difficulty moving back and forth between countries due to the Pandemic, and in some cases could not travel back to the United States depending on the country of origin.
Restrictions to on-campus learning affected the ability to receive schooling. There were rumurs that the proposed F1 restrictions would prioritize naturalized Americans within video and digital programming.
The E2 Investor faces many of the same obstacles as the EB5 Investor. Difficulty in assessing the viability of the investment and investment partners. We’ve all probably become masters at Zoom in the last 8 months – we’re just a video call away.
December – New Administration
Immigration experts believe that President-elect Biden will reverse many of the September roll-outs to the H1B Visa as well as support regulations and policies that are more welcoming to immigrants, and foreign workers and students.
The rise in nationalistic xenophobia during the Trump administration resulted in lower than normal immigration numbers to the United States. It is expected that with a reversal in policy, the US will continue to be known as a worldwide haven for immigrants, and investors with a dream.
US EB-5 Program Visa Strategy for 2021
Regardless of whether we like it or not, we will have to adapt to living with COVID and it’s associated restrictions.
More importantly we have to adapt a means to ensure our livelihood should these restrictions continue. We simply cannot stop investing until life returns to normal. Nor can we throw away our immigration goals.
In our view, a winning strategy for 2021 is one that remains flexible, and sees opportunity in these trying times.
If achieving our goals means more video-calling, then that’s what the determined investor/ student or immigrant will do.
From a regulatory standpoint, it’s probable that the Biden administration will reverse some of the restrictions imposed during the Trump administration so keep a look out in the next few months for how this unfolds.
A little known loophole regarding the source of the EB5 application funds, is something we will discuss in more length in a future email. The short version is this: Your EB5 investment funds totaling $900,000 USD can be a combination of hard and liquid assets up until your i-526 Petition is processed.
Contact us to for more information on how you can leverage your assets to secure your US Green Card for you and your family.