US Immigration News

Biden Administration Quashes Lawsuit Against New Changes in the EB-5 Investor Visa

2.25 minute read
"An EB-5 regional center filed a lawsuit against the US administration to question the validity of changes made to the EB-5 Investor Visa Program in November 2019 to increase the minimum investment. The current Biden administration has moved to quash this lawsuit clearing any remaining speculation that the minimum investment level for this program would be returned back to the original $50,000 minimum investment from the current $90,000. "
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  May 24, 2021
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An EB-5 regional center filed a lawsuit against the US administration to question the validity of changes made to the EB-5 Investor Visa Program in November 2019 to increase the minimum investment. The current Biden administration has moved to quash this lawsuit clearing any remaining speculation that the minimum investment level for this program would be returned back to the original $50,000 minimum investment from the current $90,000. 

What Is the EB-5 Investor Visa?

The EB-5 Investor Visa is for international entrepreneurs and investors who want to immigrate to the US. It is an easier and faster way to obtain lawful permanent residence in the US except for people in Mainland China due to strong historic demand. This program requires applicants to have a legally acquired source of capital and high net worth.

What Was the Lawsuit Filed by an EB-5 Regional Center?

The lawsuit primarily argued that the then head of the Department for Homeland Security (DHS), Kevin McAleean had not been properly appointed after he assumed the position following the departure of Kirstjen Nielson in early 2019. 

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a statement last summer stating that McAleean was not in the line of succession and his leadership was therefore invalid. By ratifying the changes, the Secretary of DHS, Alejandro Mayorkas tried to ward off any uncertainty regarding the future of this program. 



What Were the Old EB-5 Visa Program Requirements?

Before November 2019, the EB-5 visa program had a lower investment requirement and a different set of eligibility requirements for businesses located in the Targeted Employment Area (TEA). These regions have weaker employment levels and therefore require investment in new business establishments.

Out of these regions, the minimum investment required for this program was $1 million. Although, currently it has been increased to $1.8 million. This has significantly reduced the pool of immigrants who can meet this level of investment requirement. Many immigrants are now applying for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa due to its low investment requirement, which generally starts around $100,000.

What Are the New EB-5 Visa Program Requirements?

The new EB-5 Visa Program is awaiting reauthorization in Congress before June 30. It is likely that it will be reauthorized with the new changes for increased investment levels as a move to increase employment and investment in different parts of the country.

Senior Democrat, Patrick Leahy and senior Republican, Chuck Grassy are jointly introducing an EB-5 reform bill in Congress intending to reform the program till 2026 and ensure that the high standards of requirements are met by the regional centers.

The EB-5 Visa Program played an important role in helping the American economy recover from the 2007-2008 economic crisis. It is expected that the new changes in the program will increase investment in the US and help the economy recover from the post-pandemic fall. 

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