On Thursday, March 8, 2018, draft legislative text, impacting the United States employment-based fifth preference (EB-5) visa program, was released to stakeholders. The text includes provisions which increase the minimum capital investment amount from the current $500,000 USD to $925,000 USD. In addition, the text restricts areas qualifying at the lower investment threshold.
If passed, these provisions become effective after a 120 day (4 month) moratorium during which new petitions will not be accepted by USCIS. Petitions filed prior to enactment will continue to be adjudicated under the current rules.
The Continuing Appropriations Act, which extended EB-5 program authorization and United States government funding, expires March 23, 2018. This new legislation is expected to be included in the 2018 Omnibus appropriations package, likely to pass on or before the March 23, 2018 expiration.
Applicants at risk for dependent age-out in the next 4 months (children turning 21) and those seeking to invest in quality areas at the $500,000 level are encouraged to file before enactment of new legislation. It is not too late to make a qualifying investment under the current EB-5 law, however with this new draft legislation the opportunity to invest at $500,000 may disappear by March 23rd.