The Popular EB-5 program faces upheaval if recently proposed legislation takes affect in 2016. The draft language would increase the TEA investment requirement to $800,000 and non-TEA projects to $1.2 Million. Currently, projects in Target Employment Areas (TEAs), or areas with at least 150 percent of the national unemployment rate, require a $500,000 minimum investment, while mainstream EB-5 investments require a $1 million.
Under the EB-5 program established in the 1990s, investors, their spouses and children under 21 are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence). Investors quickly reacted to expectations that Congress would renew the EB-5 requirements causing the 10,000-a-year visa quota to be met for the first time in 2014 and and again in 2015.
The program was scheduled to expired on September 30th 2015 and was given an extension until December. While another short-term extension is possible, Investors should plan on paying out a few more hundred-thousand investment dollars in 2016.
The General Requirements of EB-5 include:
- $1 million investment in the United States
- $500,000 minimum investment in a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States
- The investment must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years
- The EB-5 investor must invest in a new commercial enterprise.