U.S. EB-5 residency visa reduced to $500,000

Shai Zamanian,  Director,  American Legal Center
Shai Zamanian, Director, American Legal Center Image Credit: Supplied

The EB-5 immigrant investor program is revitalised as investors can once again apply to receive their green cards and immigrate to the U.S. by way of making a $500,000 investment. The success of the biggest lawsuit in the modern history of the EB-5 industry comes as great news for families who have been impatiently waiting to take advantage of the reduced investment amount.

The case was filed by the Behring Regional Center in late December 2020 requesting a federal court to block implementation of the EB-5 Modernization Rule and seeking to have the investment requirement be reduced from $900,000 back to $500,000. On June 22, 2021, a U.S. federal court, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, announced that the EB-5 Modernization Rule is vacated. Therefore, the capital investment required for foreign nationals seeking to participate in the EB-5 program is reduced to $500,000.

The case was decided by U.S. magistrate judge, Jacqueline Scott Corley, who vacated the rule that increased the investment amount from $500,000 to $900,000. Judge Corley reasoned that the former acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan, was not lawfully serving as Homeland Security Secretary when he promulgated the EB-5 Modernization Rule and therefore, under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, the rule is void.

Attractive program

The EB-5 program remains one of the most attractive avenues for foreign nationals from the GCC seeking to immigrate to the U.S. with their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21, in hopes of securing a more stable future for the benefit of their family. The attractiveness of the program comes from the minimal requirements that it imposes as compared to other avenues for migration to Western countries, which often have minimum language and professional work experience requirements.

Through the EB-5 program, investors and their qualifying dependents can obtain the U.S. green card without such stringent requirements as they are effectively only required to show documentation regarding the source of their funds being invested in the U.S. economy.

Small window

While the reduction of the investment amount back to $500,000 comes as great news to be celebrated, those seeking to participate in the program must act now before the investment amount is increased by the Department of Homeland Security. Judge Corley remanded the case back to USCIS for further action. The current acting secretary of DHS, Alejandro Mayorkas, had previously filed a statement with the federal court confirming the price increase. Therefore, it is highly likely that he will act fast in reinstating the $900,000 investment requirement. For those seeking to apply and take advantage of the reduced investment amount, there is a short window of opportunity to catch the $500,000 investment threshold for perhaps a week.

How American Legal Center can help

The American Legal Center, a top immigration consultancy firm based in Dubai, helps individuals and families take a step towards their goal of achieving the American dream by serving as active guides to their clients undertaking the EB-5 program.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the capital investment amount remaining at $500,000, the U.S. licensed lawyers and professionals at the American Legal Center are urging those interested in immigrating to the U.S. to act now and are readily available to assist all those seeking expert advice on immigrating to the U.S. by way of making an investment in the U.S. economy.