EB-5 Regional Center Program Reauthorized
On March 15, 2022, President Biden signed a law reauthorizing the EB-5 Regional Center program after the program had lapsed during the Summer of 2021. An EB-5 regional center is an economic unit, public or private, in the United States that is involved with promoting economic growth. Regional centers are designated by USCIS for participation in the Immigrant Investor Program. Most Regional Center offerings invest in areas identified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as rural or distressed urban or in certain infrastructure programs.
Some key highlights of this reauthorization include:
Reauthorization through Sept. 30, 2027, for a total of five years;
The investment thresholds for immigrant investors have increased—in targeted employment areas (TEAs) from $500,000 to $800,000, and in non-TEAs from $1,000,000 to $1,050,000;
A change in the definition of a TEA;
A reserve of visas that are set-aside for TEA’s - 20% of visas available will be reserved for immigrant investors in rural projects, 10% will be reserved for investors in DHS-designated high unemployment areas, and 2% of the visas will be reserved for immigrant investment in infrastructure projects;
A provision for unused immigrant visa numbers to carry-over to the allotment of immigrant visas available in the following fiscal year;
Investor protections, including “age-out” protections for investors children after turning 21, protections for investors in case the program is not reauthorized after September 30, 2027, etc., and
New Set of statutory requirements and definitions to provide greater security and integrity measures to the Regional Center program.