EB-5 Investment Program Extended Until September 2016

Foreign nationals who desire to become permanent residents of the United States have until September of this year to apply for a Green Card through the EB-5 Investor Investment Program or IIP. The program was supposed to end in December 2015 but both houses of Congress have extended the EB-5 program until September 2016. A RussianĀ EB-5 visa lawyer would tell you that even with the extension, it would be status quo for the program, such as the amount of minimum investment, the definition for Targeted Employment Areas, and other reforms.

In connection with this all I-924, I-526, and I-829 will still be accepted, processed, and adjudicated until the enactment of a new reform bill or until the expiration of the program come September 2016. For regional centers, the said date provides the last window for investors at the $500,000 level. Initially, it was expected that the minimum investment amount at the regional centers would increase to $750,000 or $800,000. So for investors who do not have the extra $250,000 – $300,000 investment can take advantage of this opportunity.

Applications for EB-5 visas doubled to 6,277 in the first three months of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. The program has seen an increase in application since both Republicans and Democrats called for an end or reform to the program. There was also a 62.6% jump in the number of pending petitions from 13,526 in the first quarter of 2015 to 21,988 in the first quarter of 2016. Unfortunately, there was a decrease in the approval rate for petitions from 56% to 20% this year.

A 2015 report published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office revealed that the method being used by the USCIS in calculating the economic benefits of the EB-5 program was designed to help generate jobs and increase foreign investment in the US economy but there were doubts on the effectiveness of the program as it had claimed.

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