Since 1990, the foreign investor visa program known as “EB5” has undergone several legislative changes. Over the nearly 20 year period, Congress has made this program more streamlined for investors and safer for the United States. In that time, Barst Mukamal & Kleiner LLP Attorneys at Law have specialized in the process, learning every nuance to make the process easy for EB5 investors to gain citizenship. New changes being implemented by Congress, however, could inhibit investors who do not opt to retain professional legal services.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services: Immigration Reform Changes
In an effort to streamline various procedures and prevent the US economy from losing money, the USCIS implements a new fee schedule as of 12/23/16. It is more important than ever for those foreign investors seeking US citizenship to gain proper legal services now. A professional legal service can move quickly to begin the paperwork and processing for your potential EB5 project to help you avoid a 186% fee increase. The I-526 Immigration Petition form will see a $2,127 fee increase that alone is a 145% spike.
The reason is to cover costs, improve fraud detection, and to allow the USCIS to hire “additional staff to process Forms I–924 and provide better and more thorough service.” Without proper representation, you may not successfully process your immigration visa. The USCIS also recognizes the need for transparency and will be using new technology to track data from each case. There may even be more electronic processing for EB5 requests, sometime in the future, to avoid excessive paperwork which slows down the process.
Additionally, the amount of money an EB5 investor will need may rise from $500,000 to $800,000 in Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) and from $1mill to $1.2mill in non-TEA areas. There may also be a more in-depth process for documenting source of funds, which means foreign investors may have a harder time completing the immigration visa process without the guidance of a legal team. The proposed filing time reductions are estimated to go down to just 150 days for I-526 forms and 180 days for I-829’s. For those foreign entrepreneurs considering this process – now is the time.
It is Time to Invest
BMK LLP is able to work quickly to help EB5 investors who want to take advantage of this immigration reform opportunity. Considering the plethora of legal changes about to take effect, it is important that international investors take action right away. The BMK LLP legal team has nearly 90 years of experience assisting clients through complex immigration visas. Contact the team today at (646) 679-4980 to get started.