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Investment Limit for EB-5 Visa to Remain Unchanged This Year, Says U.S. Congressman

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The U.S. government may double or more than double the investment limit for EB-5 visa eventually, but the increase is not likely to happen in 2018. The investment limit for EB-5 investor visa program, which provides green cards to foreigners investing at least $500,000 in the country, has remained constant for over 30 years and the government is looking at increasing it, but the changes may come only after December this year, according to U.S. Congressman Aaron Schock.

“We don’t see an investment hike when the EB-5 program gets an extension in September. That (investment limit) is expected to change only when the new session is in place,” Schock told news agency PTI. He is the chief sponsor of the EB-5 Reauthorization Bill 2012.

The EB-5 is an employment-based fifth preference category visa, meant for high net-worth individuals (HNIs) to earn the green card for permanent residency in the United States for themselves and their immediate family through a one-time minimum investment of $500,000 into a new business that creates 10 or more jobs for Americans.

The Congress created the category 5 visa in 1990 with the aim of stimulating the economy through job creation and capital investment. Two years later, with the unemployment rate rising, it created the Regional Center Program and set aside EB-5 visas for those who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers.

Schock said that the program has been for around 30 years but “one thing has remained constant and that is the price.” For other countries, the limit for a similar visa is high. For example, in the United Kingdom, the visa that offers the same benefits is priced at $2 million, while for Canada and Australia, it costs $1 million and $4 million, respectively.

“So, the price is going to go up. we can’t tell you the day for certain but it’s going to happen,” Schock said, adding that “the price is expected to go up between $1 million and 1.3 million for investors,” according to the report.

The EB-5 investor visa program allocates up to 10,000 visas annually to foreign nationals, with a per country cap of seven percent. India is the third highest filer of EB-5 visa application after China and Vietnam, the agency added.