Aspiring immigrants seeking permanent citizenship through the EB-5 visa program might face a financial hurdle as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes changes to the fee structure of the program.
This proposed rule change, impacting the EB-5 visa program, is part of broader adjustments aimed at immigration and naturalization benefit requests.
In this article, we will delve into the proposed changes and their potential implications for EB-5 visa applicants.
EB-5 Visa Program: A Quick Overview
The EB-5 visa, officially known as the Employment-Based Immigrant Visa, Fifth Preference, is a pathway for foreign nationals and their dependents to obtain permanent residency in the United States. To qualify for the EB-5 program, individuals are required to make a significant investment in the U.S. economy.
The current threshold for investment is set at $1,050,000. However, if the investment is made in a targeted employment area (TEA) or an infrastructure project, the minimum required investment drops to $800,000. Additionally, the investment must lead to the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying employees.
Proposed EB-5 Fees Changes
The DHS has proposed substantial fee increases for various forms related to the EB-5 program. These changes are expected to have a significant financial impact on applicants. Let’s take a closer look at the proposed fee adjustments:
Form I-526 & Form I-526E
The proposed fee for Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, and Form I-526E, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor, is set at $11,160. This marks a staggering 204 per cent increase from the current fee of $3,675.
For Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, the proposed fee is $9,525. This represents a 154 per cent increase from the current fee of $3,750.
Form I-956 & Form I-956F
The proposed fee for Form I-956, Application for Regional Center Designation, is $47,695, a substantial 168-percent increase from the current fee of $17,795 for Form I-924, Application for Regional Center Designation under the Immigrant Investor Program. The same fee of $47,695 is also proposed for Form I-956F, Application for Approval of Investment in a Commercial Enterprise.
For Form I-956G, Regional Center Annual Statement, the proposed fee is $4,470, representing a 47 per cent increase from the current fee of $3,035 for Form I-924A.
|Form||Current fee||Proposed fee||Increase|
|I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur||$3,675||$11,160||204%|
|I-526E, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor||$3,675||$11,160||204%|
|I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status||$3,750||$9,525||154%|
|I-956, Application for Regional Center Designation||$17,795||$47,695||168%|
|I-956F, Application for Approval of Investment in a Commercial Enterprise||$0||$47,695||New fee|
|I-956G, Regional Center Annual Statement||$3,035||$4,470||47%|
Extended Comment Period
Initially, the comment period on the proposed USCIS rule was set to conclude in mid-March 2023, but the DHS has since extended it to March 2024. This extension allows stakeholders to provide their input and concerns regarding the proposed fee changes, ensuring that all voices are heard.
The proposed changes to the EB-5 visa program’s fee structure are substantial and may pose a financial challenge for aspiring immigrants seeking permanent residency in the United States. It is crucial for individuals interested in the EB-5 program to stay informed and participate in the comment period to express their opinions and concerns.
These adjustments are part of a broader effort to reform the regional centre program, and their impact will be closely monitored by those involved in the immigration process.