China’s Crackdown on Overseas Use of Bank Cards May Hamper EB-5 Investments

June 11, 2017 in EB-5 News, EB-5 Visa, 未分类 by Richard Sander 理查德·桑德

China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a statement on its website last week that China’s banks will be asked to report bank card holders’ withdrawals in overseas countries and regions starting September 1, as well as any bank transactions exceeding 1,000 yuan.

“With increasing requirements to fight money laundering, terrorist financing and tax avoidance, measures for cross-border transactions need to be enhanced in terms of trading transparency and quality of statistics,” the SAFE statement said.

In recent years, the amount of overseas withdrawals has been growing and bank cards have become the major overseas payment tools for Chinese people, in excess of $120 billion last year, including many EB-5 investors. This new reporting requirement may force EB-5 investors to turn to alternate forms of cross-border transactions.

Major Changes to EB-5 Proposed

April 10, 2017 in EB-5 News, EB-5 Visa, 未分类 by Richard Sander 理查德·桑德

The current Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, if implemented, would make the following changes to EB-5:

1. The minimum investment amount for high employment areas would be raised from $1 million to $1.8 million.

2. The minimum investment for Targeted Employment Areas (high unemployment areas) would be raised from $500,000 to $1.3 million.

While we expected change, we believe that this drastic increase is too much, too soon and would effectively end EB-5 as we know it.

We will keep you informed as this situation develops…

EB-5 Program May End?

January 25, 2017 in EB-5 News, EB-5 Visa, 未分类 by Richard Sander 理查德·桑德

On Tuesday, US Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Diane Feinstein (D-California) introduced a bill to terminate the EB-5 Visa Program, the Regional Center program, and reallocate the associated visas to the EB-1, EB-2, EB-3 and EB-4 employment-based visa categories.  We will let you know how this plays out.

New EB-5 Regulations Coming Soon

January 9, 2017 in EB-5 News, EB-5 Visa, 未分类 by Richard Sander 理查德·桑德

Last month, the Obama Administration directed the Office of Management & Budget to implement new regulations for the EB-5 program. These regulations are likely to go into effect by the end of the first quarter 2017, so investors are urged to file their EB-5 applications soon in order for the old rules to apply.

The likely changes include:

1. TEA eligibility. Which projects and locations will be eligible for the reduced investment minimum may change dramatically.

2. Investment minimums. The minimum investment amount is likely to increase from $500,000 to $800,000 in TEA locations, and from $1,000,000 to $1,200,000 elsewhere. But the big question is whether this change will take effect immediately or over time.

3. Clarification to Priority Dates. If an immigrant investor is forced to refile their application because of project changes, failures or other circumstances beyond their control, they go to the back of the line (which is getting longer by the day). We expect the new regulations to enable investors to retain their place in line under these circumstances.

Updated EB-5 Processing Times

December 15, 2016 in EB-5 News, EB-5 Visa, 未分类 by Richard Sander 理查德·桑德

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) has published updated processing times for EB-5 applicants.

As of September 30, 2016, the most recent reporting period:

Time frame for I-526 applicants (this starts the EB-5 immigration and investment process) is 14.7 months, down from 16.6 months as of May 31, 2016 and 16.2 months for the quarter ending March 31, 2016.

Time frame for I-829 applicants (to remove conditions and issue green card) is 23.8 months, up from 20.1 months as of May 31, 2016 and 18.3 months for the quarter ending March 31, 2016.

We look forward to the next update and we will publish the numbers right here.

EB-5 Outlook Under President Trump

November 22, 2016 in EB-5 News, EB-5 Visa, 未分类 by Richard Sander 理查德·桑德

Experts predict that the EB-5 program will thrive under President-Elect Trump, who has a thorough understanding of real estate, finance, capital stack requirements and other elements crucial to the development side of EB-5. Critics suggest that Trump’s hard stance on immigration will not bode well for EB-5 but we believe that the President-Elect’s comments have been directed primarily toward illegal immigration, and since EB-5 is a legal immigration program it should continue unhindered in a Trump administration.

Meanwhile, we are still waiting to see whether (and in what form) Congress will reauthorize the Regional Center program.

USCIS Announces New EB-5 Fees

November 11, 2016 in EB-5 News, EB-5 Visa, 未分类 by Richard Sander 理查德·桑德

US Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced a new fee structure for its services (including EB-5 processing) effective December 23, 2016.

The initial application fee (I-526) is changing from $1,500 to $3,675.

The fee to remove conditions at the end of the EB-5 process (I-829) remains unchanged at $3,750.

The biggest changes are Regional Center (RC) registration fees, which are going up from $6,230 to $17,795, and a new annual certification fee being imposed which will add $3,035 to the Regional Center cost structure. These new fees may restrict new RC applications and may even force some existing RCs out of business.