For the past few years, the regional center program has allowed many foreign investors the opportunity to obtain a green card for themselves and their families. Cheaper and requiring less involvement than its direct investment counterpart, the EB-5 regional center program has come under fire from politicians and others who claim it is ripe for fraud and misuse. The program was slated to expire last year after some 20 years in existence. It was given an extension as part of the Omnibus Bill, but that deadline is now looming, with September 30 as the stated end date.
Is This the End of the Investment Visa Program Entirely?
No, but the options available to foreign investors could be dramatically reduced or changed. The EB-5 investment visa program itself will not be eliminated, just the option to invest through a regional center. That distinction is significant. Over the past few years, the vast majority of the investment visas issued by the U.S. government have been obtained through the regional centers program. The other current option, the direct investment program, does have slightly different requirements, including a more significant investment, stricter job creation requirements, more involvement in day-to-day business operations, and more limited options in location.
- A larger investment amount
- More visas specifically for those investing in rural or high-unemployment areas
- Increased monitoring and oversight
- Greater discretion by the government to reject applications based on security or fraud concerns
Worried About the Impact of Regional Center Changes on Your Investment Visa Status? We Can Help.
Even if the program is given an extension, it will likely be more difficult and costly for the investor in the future. If you are considering applying for an EB-5 investment visa and would like to take advantage of the regional center program, contact our team of EB-5 immigration lawyers at Tucker, Nong & Associates today. With two locations in the Washington, D.C. metro area, our attorneys can help you:
- Identify legitimate regional centers in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia
- Select an investment project that meets your needs
- Identify and gather the proper supporting documents
- Complete an I-526 petition to begin the process
For more information on EB-5 investment options, call our office in Vienna, VA, at (703) 991-7978 or in Rockville, MD, at (301) 637-5392.