The U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California decided on June 23rd, 2021 to rule in favor of its request to vacate the EB-5 Modernization Rule implemented by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2019. The court’s decision restores the original rules for the EB-5 program, which was created by the Immigration Act of 1990 as a method for providing qualified investors the opportunity to obtain a permanent green card. The program requires a minimum $500,000 investment in a U.S. business that would create at least 10 full-time jobs for American workers. The 2019 Modernization Rule bumped the investment from $500,000 to $900,000, an update that stifled participation in the program. The suit was brought by Behring Co., a real estate developer and the operator of Behring Regional Center.
The Modernization Rule also made problematic changes to the program’s Targeted Employment Area (TEA) designation process, removing the states’ authority to determine TEA eligibility without a viable replacement and resulting in processing times that took years to complete. This change helped contribute to EB-5 petitions dropping by more than 99% percent since November of 2019. “The Court’s decision to right this wrong will provide a positive opportunity for EB-5 investors and regional centers to unite with policymakers in forging meaningful legislative change that ultimately leads to creating American jobs and economic growth”, said Laura Foote Reiff, an immigration attorney who helped represent Behring Co.
With the original rules in effect, EB-5 investors may once again invest $500,000 in TEA-qualified locations that create at least 10 full-time jobs. Since its inception, EB-5 investor have injected more than $41 billion and created over 820,000 jobs. However, the program is set to expire June 30th, with lawmakers currently considering modifying certain components of the EB-5. If you have any immigration issues or would like to try and apply for the EB-5 program, feel free to call the Lei Jiang Law Firm at 440-835-2271, as we handle a variety of immigration legal issues and applications.