Judge strikes down USCIS 2019 decision to increase investment limit to $900,000
Update: This is an older article. The current minimum EB-5 investment is now $800,000. Read more about it here.
A Federal judge in San Francisco district court issued a ruling today, June 22 2021 striking down the EB-5 Investment limit increase to $900,000. That means the EB-5 minimum investment limit goes back to $500,000 as it was prior to November 21, 2019. The Behring Regional Center v. Wolf is a lawsuit by Behring Regional Center against the Department of Homeland Security to stop the EB-5 modernization rule of 2019. Behring Regional Center In the lawsuit argued that the scope of power of the then-acting Department of Homeland Security officials was exceeded to implement the 2019 rule. One of the main provisions of the rule was the increase in EB-5 investment limits from $500,000 to $900,000 (TEA) and $1,000,000 to $1,800,000 (Non-TEA) amongst other changes to the EB-5 program.
The path forward for EB-5
In the coming weeks and months, we will find out what the Biden government will do about this issue. President Joe Biden’s DHS Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas has already endorsed the 2019 rule by ratifying it. This means the minimum investment amount of $500,000 investment limits will go up again if the US Govt. acts on it previous action. There is also the matter of the EB-5 sunset date of June 30 2021. Will congress vote to extend the program or will they let the EB-5 Regional Center program lapse? This will be a serious blow to the billions of dollars currently invested by thousands of foreigners in the US.
I personally feel that Congress will extend the EB-5 program beyond June 30, as it has done previously many times. But I am not sure if the Biden administration will allow for the investment limits to stay at $500,000. The limits have been at the same level since the program was introduced in 1990. Congress and even Obama administration has previously said that EB-5 investment limits need to be raised in line with inflation and keep up with other countries like UK, Canada where the investment limits are higher than $500,000 USD.
A small window of opportunity
This might be a small window of opportunity for investors to file their EB-5 petition at the $500,000 level, while the government works out a proposal to increase it again. Quite a few investors are waiting to take advantage of this situation. many have already lined up their funds and engaged with immigration attorneys. The process of creating the Source of Funds documentation usually takes at least 30 days as attorneys have to put together 100s of pages of financial documents to create the I-526 package for the investor to file the petition. If you are planning to take advantage of this, I urge you to start right away on your EB-5 process. There are quite a few steps in the process. Contact us to find out how to take advantage of the $500,000 Investment limit.