New Regulations for the EB-5 Investor Visa ProgramJuly 30, 2019
NEW REGULATIONS FOR THE EB-5 INVESTOR VISA PROGRAM WERE PUBLISHED IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER WITH AN EFFECTIVE DATE OF NOVEMBER 21, 2019
CMB Regional Centers continues to deliver current news to the industry and its stakeholders. The Department of Homeland Security’s (“DHS”) EB-5 Modernization Regulations were published on the Federal Register’s website, which according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) is the first time there has been significant change in the EB-5 Investor Visa Program since 1993.
The new regulations state the effective date for these changes is November 21, 2019. The regulations clarify that anyone that files their I-526 petition prior to November 21st will be adjudicated under the current rules of the program. However, it is important to keep in mind that even with the published new regulations, the EB-5 regional program must continue to be reauthorized by Congress, and currently is only authorized through September 30, 2019. Although there are many technical changes in the new regulations, there are a couple major changes to make note of:
NEW DOLLAR AMOUNT:
- The minimum investment amount will increase significantly from $500,000 to $900,000 in a qualified targeted employment area (“TEA”).
- Investment amounts in a non-TEA increase from $1 million to $1.8 million.
- The regulations also include provisions that the investment amounts will be adjusted every five years based on inflation.
NEW TEA RULE:
- DHS will make TEA designation directly now, which is taking the approval process away from the individual States.
- DHS will approve census tract-based TEAs, based on new configuration rules, which will eliminate gerrymandering and will provide consistency in the program.
These changes will make it challenging for some regional centers and developers to take on or promote their projects. The new TEA rules will limit the ability to build skyscrapers and luxury hotels in affluent areas of the United States, such as Manhattan, NY and Miami, FL. That means that many of these high end luxury projects will have to raise funds at the higher dollar amount of $1.8 million instead of at the $500,000 level they can raise at today. This can have significant impacts on these types of projects if they do not have a full capital stack in place. If they are unable to raise the required EB-5 capital, then what happens the project, but more importantly the EB-5 investor that put their trust into this potentially now failed project?
It is more important now to make sure you are conducting proper due diligence on regional centers and the projects that they are promoting. CMB Regional Centers continues to be a leading regional center in the EB-5 industry with a 100% project approval of all projects that have been adjudicated by the USCIS. CMB makes sure that the full capital stack is in place prior to raising the EB-5 investment funds needed.
It is important to note that anyone considering EB-5 at the lower investment threshold should speak with their immigration attorney about the ability to file their I-526 petition prior to the effective date of the new regulations. This is with the hope that the EB-5 program gets extended past the current September 30, 2019 expiration date.
CMB Regional Centers is one of the oldest active EB-5 regional centers in existence today and has been recognized as a pioneer within the industry, being credited with many of the structures and operational procedures that are now considered best practices. CMB was the first regional center to rely solely upon indirect and induced job creation, and was the first to introduce the loan model. Additionally, in 2014, CMB was the first to commission voluntary independent third-party audits of all CMB EB-5 partnership financials from inception to present according to GAAP, and also audits of CMB’s immigration statistics (I-526 and I-829 approvals).
CMB’s history over the last 20+ years
CMB has over 5,300 investors from 99 countries, representing over $2.9 billion in EB-5 investment capital within 69 partnerships. To date, CMB’s investors have experienced over 4,800 I-526 approvals, over 1,100 I-829 approvals, repayment of over $1 billion in EB-5 investment capital from CMB borrowers, and a return of capital (or in the process of returning capital) to investors in 20 CMB EB-5 partnerships.
It is important for anyone interested in moving forward with EB-5 to know that the clock is counting down. There are less than 120 days for the new regulations to take effect and less than 70 days until the regional centers program’s expiration.
If you have any questions please contact CMB Regional Centers at 1-309-797-1550 or firstname.lastname@example.org