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The History of the EB-5 Visa Program

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Visas | 0 comments

The EB-5 visa makes relocating to the United States, whether individually or with the family, easier and quicker. With the help and advice of a RussianĀ EB5 visa lawyer, you can have access to a better and faster option to working and eventually living in the United States. Also known as the Immigrant Investor Program, the EB-5 has undergone a lot of changes since it was established in 1990. Created by the Immigration Act of 1990, the program restructured the US immigration system and included changes to non-immigrant visa categories, deportation rules, and increased legal immigration limits.

The EB-5 Since The 1990s

The Immigration Act of 1990 set in motion a program that would allow foreign investors to obtain permanent residency in the United States. Section 121(b)5 of the Act makes 10,000 Green Cards of permanent residency available throughout the country every year for qualified immigrant investors. The Act sets the minimum investment amount to $500,000 for investments made in rural and high unemployment areas.

However, due to the discovery of lax regulation enforcement and fraud in the investments, the Administative Appeals Office or AAO issued changes in the requirements in 1998. The agency added a nerw stipulation requiring proof that the investments came from lawful sources and that the investor is personally involved with the project. The AAO attempts to ensure that the regulations set forth by the EB-5 will be uniformly applied to all new applications. The revisions are still in effect on current applications.

With the new ruling, the AAO implemented important determinations on program requirements, which includes the type of commercial entity that can take EB-5 investment, the qualification for legal funding source, and the administation of investment.

EB-5 In The 2000s

The enactment of the Basic Pilot Program Extension and Expansion Act of 2003 was instrumental in revitalizing the EB-5 program. Under this Act, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) was authorized to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the EB-5 program. It was then revealed that only a fraction of the 10,000 visas alloted to the program were actually being granted every year. As a result, more reforms to the program was implemented.

One of the reforms was the establishment of the Investor and Regional Center Unit (IRCU) in 2005. This specialty unit was given given oversight duties to the EB-5 program, which includes case auditing, form design, regulation development, and policy creation. As a result, there was better coordination and increased reliability in the EB-5 program.

Reforms

In 2009, the USCIS issued policy guidelines for the EB-5 program. USCIS centralized the processing at the California Service Center (CSC). Previously, prcoessing was done in California and Texas. Although not yet permanent, the EB-5 has been continuously re-authorized. President Barrack Obama granted extension to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program in 2009 until September 2012. Then Obama further extended the program until 2015.

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