indica News Bureau-
The U.S. government has nearly doubled the cost for foreign investors seeking a conditional green card leading to permanent residency under the decades-old EB-5 visa program, according to published reports.
Under the revised rules published Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the EB-5 visa – created in 1990 to create jobs, spur capital investment and stimulate the U.S. economy – will require a minimum investment, as of Nov. 21, of $900,000, up from the previous requirement of $500,000, according to published reports.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said the minimum amount will be for investments in rural areas and high-unemployment regions, according to published reports. For investments in other areas, the minimum will be $1.8 million, compared to the current $1 million. The visa will still require the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs.
According to news reports, the program generates more than $5 billion a year, in exchange for nearly 10,000 green cards — a number that is capped by statute. Chinese applicants take up almost all of the 10,000 spots. The investment visa program offers a two-year conditional green card with the visa,
Under the new rules, the process will be run by only Homeland Security, which will draw districts eligible for EB-5 investments, and effectively eliminates state input available under the current regime.
Various industry groups voiced opposition to the new rules during the public comment period over the past few months, saying investment levels would fall, and some lawmakers have long criticized the program that could be subject to fraud and enable investors to essential buy visas, according to published reports.