Monday, January 26, 2015

What’s Next For EB-5 Visa?

What’s Next For EB-5 Visa?
It is no surprise that the EB-5 Visa industry has been seeing some major changes in the past year.  Increased processing times, and restrictions on the number of Chinese investors are just some of the few hot topics in the space today.  But what does the future hold for EB-5? 

With the sunset of the EB-5 program quickly approaching at in the 4th quarter of 2015, potential investors should take notice of a few looming changes.  If the visa is extended for another three years or is made permanent by Congress, it is likely that we will see an increase in the investment amount.  There are rumors that the investment will go up to anywhere from $800,000 USD to $1M USD.  However, those who invest prior to the change in policy, will enjoy the limited $500,000. 

It is no surprise that the U.S. may make it more expensive to immigrate to the land of opportunity.  After all, the equities markets prove to be the strongest, there are no bombs falling from the sky, and the employment rate keeps climbing.  Another thing to consider is that, when compared to some of the other developed countries who offer investment immigration programs, the U.S. seems to be the cheapest. 

Another development to be aware of is the number of applicants who are flocking to the EB-5 Visa program.  Rumor has it that the visa will be oversubscribed by middle of the year.  Believe this or not, the closure of the Canadian program and now the closure of the Hong Kong program are driving large numbers of investors towards EB-5. The Chinese dominate the industry and will more than likely be affected by the lack of visas available.

Some leaders in the industry are also on a crusade to bring the EB-5 Visa back to its intended roots. With the mega projects hoarding the majority of the slots, it is becoming difficult for small business owners and innovators to take advantage of the competitive EB-5 marketplace.  Perhaps we may see some proposed changes in the allocation of the visas to smaller and more innovative operators?

With all the changes coming, one thing is for sure: The industry is changing rapidly but still growing at a tremendous pace. 

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