USCIS Proposes Rule Increasing Minimum Investment Thresholds for EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") is proposing changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which allows individuals to be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence in the U.S. if they make the necessary investments in a commercial enterprise in the United States and create 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.

USCIS proposes to: (1) Increase the minimum investment amounts for standard EB-5 petitioners from $1 million to $1.8 million; (2) increase the minimum investment amounts for EB-5 petitioners in a Targeted Employment Area ("TEA") from $500,000 to $1.35 million; and (3) reform the adjudication of TEA designations to DHS/USCIS directly, as opposed to states making this decision.

In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM"), USCIS is specifically seeking feedback on the numbers of small entities that could be affected by this rule, the compliance costs of this rule for these entities, and any possible regulatory alternatives that may minimize these costs. USCIS has also released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("ANPRM") for the EB-5 Program, seeking more information and data from EB-5 petitioners and regional centers.

Comments on the NPRM and the ANPRM are due on April 11, 2017.

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