Immigration Laws Are Shifting: How Will Newer Regulations Affect EB-5 Visas?

This is a special post about the “going-to-be” new immigration act of US. Though not directly related to US travel, some of our avid travelers might find US to be the next land to live in one day. So it is good to know what the EB-5 visas is and how it might change under the new act.

Immigration has been a wildly discussed topic in the last couple of years. If the newly-introduced bill passes, this will undoubtedly lead to serious changes in terms of how the US will handle legal immigration in the future. EB-5 visas, as we know them, may no longer exist. So what are the upcoming changes and how can you prepare for them?

EB-5 Visas

The RAISE act in a nutshell

The new Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act (or RAISE for short) aims to control the number of legal immigrants entering the US. The bill was introduced on the 1st of August 2017, and should it pass, the number of legal immigrants entering the country will effectively be cut in half. To say that the RAISE act would have a great effect on EB-5 visas, is an understatement; it would effectively spell out the program’s end.

The replacement for EB-5 visas

When determining whether an individual is eligible for immigration to the US, a points-based system would be used instead, similar to the ones seen in other countries like Australia, Canada, and the UK. The new system would still offer plenty of incentives for investing in a US-based commercial enterprise, but some changes are to be expected.

How investing translates to points

Investing $1.35 million would net the candidate 6 points. But an investment of $1.8 million would give the candidate 12 points. Of course, there are other requirements, with one of them being that the candidate must maintain the investment three years or more. Compared to EB-5’s requirement of five years, this makes for a shorter time-span.

RAISE requires a larger investment

EB-5 only required an investment of $500,000, and the minimum investment under the RAISE act is larger ($1.35 million).

The new “primary occupation” requirement

Under the new RAISE act, the investor is required to actively manage the investment as their primary occupation, which is one of the major differences to how the EB-5 visas handle this aspect. In essence, EB-5 visas require much less effort when it comes to the amount of management, even though they don’t allow for being completely passive about it.

What are the complications of RAISE?

One of the main criticisms of RAISE is that it would essentially make the immigration viable only to entrepreneurs, while locking out the investors. Furthermore, the qualification procedure can place quite a lot of demands on the candidate, and even investing a full $1.8 million and actively managing the investment would not guarantee becoming eligible.

The points system

As mentioned before, the amount invested could net you a grand total of 12 points. However, 30 points are required in order to qualify. Additional points are awarded based on the candidate’s age (those who are older than 50 receive 0 points in this category), good grasp of the English language, and the level of education.

How to prepare for the changes?

RAISE, if passed, will bring about a great deal of changes. Here is a useful resource to consider: https://www.dekirby.net/practice_areas/eb-5-lawyer.cfm

Rather than being passive about it, it’s better to take the active approach and make sure your rights are protected.

Conclusion

No one can tell what the future has in store for legal immigration in the US, but by taking the time to study the changes the new act will bring in advance, you can create a solid plan on how to adapt to them. – Travel Feeder

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