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How will TEA changes affect in-progress EB-5 projects and applications?

I understand that Congress may change some of the requirements for EB-5 this September including raising the $500,000 minimum in Targeted Employment Areas, and also changing how TEAs are determined. If an investor applies now, before September, does he/she get grandfathered under the existing laws? What will happen to regional centers just starting projects using the $500,000 minimum and current TEA rules?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The TEA designation has to be current at the time of filing the I-526 petition. It is important to have all the required number of investors for the EB-5 project file their petitions while the TEA is current.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No one knows for sure, but it seems as though any changes enacted by Congress would be prospective, and not applied retroactively. Therefore, it is likely that TEA investments of $500,000 would be grandfathered if they are made before any EB-5 law changes are effective. If a regional center project is in the middle of a capital raise, however, that could potentially present a problem for the project.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An investor placing their application in before any changes should be adjudicated as to the law at the time of application.

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    J Bruce Weinman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes. You must meet the requirements at the time of filing the I-526 petition. If you file it before the change you will be grandfathered into the old rate.

  • Avatar

    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I am curious as to how you came to this understanding that such sweeping changes may occur, but if there were to be any changes (which, to my understanding, there will not be), I would hope that pending I-526 petitions would be reviewed with the standards in place when submitted. However, as we saw with the "tenant occupancy" issue in 2012, new standards were applied to existing cases.

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    Robert Lee

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The requirement is set at the time of submission. If you submit before any actual change you are good.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    We do not know until we see what Congress does, but I would expect any changes will be prospective only.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unfortunately, we do not have a crystal ball that could tell us what to expect in the reauthorization bill, other than it will be reauthorized, until the bill passes both Houses and gets signed. Having said that, the cases that are filed before September 30, 2015 probably will be grandfathered under the current rules and possibly as late as the new rules are promulgated. A new regional center that is now embarking on a new project may be wise in planning for the new limits that are likely to be passed.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no way to know what Congress will do until they do it.

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