EB-5 Immigrant Investor
On June 22, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, in Behring Regional Center LLC v. Wolf, 20-cv-09263-JSC, vacated the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization Final Rule. As such, the USCIS is currently applying the EB-5 Regulations that were in effect prior to the rule being finalized on November 21, 2019, including:
For more information please visit the USCIS EB-5 page, here.
- No priority date retention based on an approved Form I-526;
- The required standard minimum investment amount of $1 million and the minimum investment amount for investment in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) of $500,000;
- Permitting state designations of high unemployment TEAs; and
- Prior USCIS procedures for the removal of conditions on permanent residence.
Regional Center Program:
Statutory authority related to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program expired at midnight on June 30, 2021. Thus, this lapse does not affect EB-5 petitions submitted by investors who are not seeking a visa under the Regional Center Program. In other words, this lapse does not affect investors filing a petition under EB-5 related to direct investment under the program.
After July 1, 2021, the USCIS will reject Applications for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program (Form I-924), and the Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor, when it indicates that the petitioner’s investment is associated with an approved regional center (Form I-526).
What is EB-5?
EB-5 is an opportunity for immigrants to invest in the United States in exchange for green card eligibility for themselves and qualifying family members. To qualify for EB-5, a foreign national must invest a minimum of $1 million (or $500,000 within a targeted employment area (TEA)) in an American business that creates at least ten new American jobs.
The program has other provisions, such as maintaining the investment throughout the EB-5 conditional permanent residency period, increasing regional productivity and other requirements.
The program is divided into two distinct phases:
- In the first phase the immigrant investor is granted a conditional visa.
- After two years, the conditions on the visa are removed and the visa is made permanent if the investor has: 1. proven the creation of 10 new American jobs; 2. maintained the required amount of investment and; 3. met the residency time requirements.
What is TEA?
An area is designated as a TEA (target employment area) if it is statistically proven to be 150 percent of the U.S. national unemployment rate or it is a rural area in the United States. To qualify for EB-5, an immigrant needs to invest a minimum of $500,000 in a TEA-designated area. A rural area is any area outside a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or outside the boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more according to the decennial census.
The Cabinet for Economic Development is the agency designated by the Governor to determine TEA designation.
Click here for more information on TEAs
To access more information on Kentucky Eligible Target Employment Areas click here.
Creating Aggregate TEAs
If a particular area does not meet the TEA requirement, that location may become eligible when combined with surrounding areas, as long as the average unemployment level of the combined areas is 150% of the national unemployment rate. Approval for aggregation is at the discretion of the Cabinet for Economic Development and individual retail stores and restaurants will be eligible only in rare cases. Applicants are encouraged to submit informal aggregation proposals for discussion prior to pursuing the steps below.
If a particular area does not meet the TEA requirement, that location may become eligible when combined with surrounding areas, as long as the average unemployment level of the combined areas is 150% of the national unemployment rate. Approval for aggregation is at the discretion of the Cabinet for Economic Development. Applicants are encouraged to review the guidelines below for high unemployment designations.
Click here for guidelines.
Contact: Matthew Wingate
Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development
Questions about TEA designation?
Contact Matthew Wingate with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development at Matthew.Wingate@ky.gov.
Questions about obtaining an EB 5 Visa or about funding your project with EB 5 investment dollars?
Contact USCIS or an approved Regional Center or visit the USCIS EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program website.