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Changes coming to the investment visa program

Changes are coming to the immigration program for investors. The current program expires on Dec. 11. It is expected that the overhaul of the program that will go into effect when the current program expires will include measures to help stop the high-profile fraud that has been noted with the current program.

The visa-for-cash program, which is technically the EB-5 program, currently allows investors who put $500,000 into priority areas of the country to get a green card. Sadly, some developers found a way to use that requirement to get cheaper financing than what they could get through traditional means.

With the overhaul, the amount that must be invested will be increased to $800,000. There would be 10,000 slots available for investors. Of those, 4,000 would be reserved for investors in impoverished urban areas and rural areas. Additionally, each investment would have to create at least 10 jobs.

Another change is that the Department of Homeland Security will be required to look into any developments that pool a lot of investors together. This is to try to prevent the fraud that has become more common during recent years. It would also help to ensure that the program's integrity remains intact and that the communities that need these developments are the ones that receive them.

Even though the requirements are set to change, investors will still be able to use the EB-5 program to obtain a green card. If you are considering applying for an EB-5 visa, you should understand all of the new requirements and how they will affect your application.

Source: Fortune, "Key Lawmakers Back Overhaul of Troubled Visa-for-Cash Program," Steven T. Dennis, Dec. 03, 2015

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