CMB Announces the New EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization Regulations Have Taken Effect, What Does That Mean?

The new EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization Regulations are effective. Although there are many changes to the EB-5 program that are included in the new regulations, the biggest changes are: increased minimum investment amounts, new targeted employment area (TEA) definitions, and designating authority of TEAs is taken away from the State and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will now be directly responsible for verifying the project is located in a qualified TEA.

First, the EB-5 investment amounts have increased from $500,000 to $900,000 if the project is located in a TEA, and from $1 million to $1.8 million for a project not located in a TEA. Since the investment amounts have not changed since the program’s inception an inflation study was conducted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) consulting with the Departments of State and Labor. The federal agencies determined that the increase will reflect the present-day dollar value of the original investment amount set in 1990 by the U.S. Congress. They have also added that every fifth year there will be an inflation correction to the dollar amount.

Additionally, the new regulations outline what is required to qualify a project as a TEA and requires that the USCIS will make the determination, not the individual states. Prior to the new regulations, a regional center could simply request a TEA letter from the state, county or city government where the project was located (depending on the state). This will not be the process anymore, since the USCIS will adjudicate all TEA requests. This will improve integrity within the EB-5 program since the regional center operators will not be able to gerrymander their projects into qualifying as a TEA when they do not.

CMB Regional Centers (CMB) will continue to offer quality investment opportunities for any investor that was unable to move forward with an EB-5 investment prior to the new regulations taking effect. As a leader in the industry CMB’s in-house project development team, business attorneys, economists and financial advisors have already underwritten new projects that will comply with the new EB-5 regulations and will be available for subscription in the near future.


Published: 21 November 2019

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