US Immigration News

USCIS Reinstates the EB-5 Investment

2 minute read
"The US government temporarily reinstated the Houston EB-5 Direct Investment program at a $500,000 investment level. The Houston EB-5 Visa program is for international entrepreneurs and investors who want to receive US permanent residence by making a qualified investment in real estate. Over the years, this program has helped the US government in attracting qualified entrepreneurs and investors for permanent residence."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Aug 17, 2021
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The US government temporarily reinstated the Houston EB-5 Direct Investment program at a $500,000 investment level. The Houston EB-5 Visa program is for international entrepreneurs and investors who want to receive US permanent residence by making a qualified investment in real estate. Over the years, this program has helped the US government in attracting qualified entrepreneurs and investors for permanent residence. 

What Recent Changes Were Introduced to the EB-5 Visa Program?

The US government introduced certain changes to the EB-5 Investment Program as a part of a comprehensive EB-5 modernization law in 2019. The biggest change was the increase in the required investment level for the program. The minimum required investment in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) was increased from $500,000 to $900,000, while the minimum required investment for non-TEAs was increased to $1.8 million from $1 million. 

In a recent court ruling, the US Northern District Court of California reinstated the minimum required investment level for TEAs back to $500,000 on June 23, 2021. The court ruled that the then Acting Director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) lacked the authority to make that change.

Currently, there are 2 new EB-5 bills circulating in the US Senate, for reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program and contemplation of a higher investment level until September 2021. This means that investors have until September 30th to apply for the EB-5 Investor Program at the revised investment level.

It is still unsure how long the ruling by the District Court of California will be effective. However, this presents the perfect opportunity for investors to obtain US permanent residence by making a $500,000 investment through the program.

How Did the Changes Affect the EB-5 Investment Program?

The changes made back in 2019 led to a drop in the level of investors applying for this program. However, the reauthorization of previous investment levels presents a rare opportunity for families to invest in a Second Passport.

This change, however, will not impact investors seeking a Permanent Resident Card (“Green Card”) through the EB-5 Direct Investment Program. Ruth Obih, Chief Executive Officer of 3INVEST, a Nigeria-based real estate investment firm and the African partners to Houston EB-5 said going forward, the program will only accept EB-5 investments and projects that create direct employment.

One such example is Moderno Porcelain Works which is the latest project currently offered by the Houston EB-5. 

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