EMPLOYMENT BASED VISAS
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
USCIS administers the EB-5 Program. Under this program, investors (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a Green Card (permanent residence) if they:
Make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States; and
Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.
This program is known as EB-5 for the name of the employment-based fifth preference visa that participants receive.
Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. In 1992, Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the Regional Center Program, which sets aside EB-5 visas for participants who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers approved by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.
Alert: On June 22, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, in Behring Regional Center LLC v. Wolf, 20-cv-09263-JSC, vacated the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization Final Rule (PDF). While USCIS considers this decision, we will apply the EB-5 regulations that were in effect before the rule was finalized on Nov. 21, 2019, including:
No priority date retention based on an approved Form I-526;
The required standard minimum investment amount of $1 million and the minimum investment amount for investment in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) of $500,000;
Permitting state designations of high unemployment TEAs; and
Prior USCIS procedures for the removal of conditions on permanent residence.
In other words, we are applying the regulations in effect before Nov. 21, 2019, in the USCIS Policy Manual,
Volume 6, Part G, Investors. In addition, we again will accept the April 15, 2019, version of Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, because the Nov. 21, 2019, version of the form reflects updates from the now-vacated rule.
Alert: Statutory authorization related to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program expired at midnight on June 30, 2021. This lapse in authorization does not affect EB-5 petitions filed by investors who are not seeking a visa under the Regional Center Program. Due to the lapse in authorization related to the Regional Center Program, USCIS will reject the following forms received on or after July 1, 2021:
Form I-924, Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program, except when the application type indicates that it is an amendment to the regional center’s name, organizational structure, ownership, or administration; and
Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor, when it indicates that the petitioner’s investment is associated with an approved regional center.
In general, we will not act on any pending petition or application of these form types that is dependent on the lapsed statutory authority until further notice. If you were issued written correspondence regarding your petition or application on or before June 30, 2021, you should review the written correspondence and respond by the due date (as applicable). Although USCIS is unable to review your response at this time, we will receive and maintain the response for review if circumstances change.
We will continue to accept and review Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, in the normal course, including those filed on or after July 1, 2021.
We will begin rejecting all Forms I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and any associated Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and Forms I-131, Application for Travel Document, based on an approved Regional Center Form I-526.
We will provide further guidance to the public if circumstances change or further guidance becomes necessary.