Real estate experts are rallying behind a bill proposed by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), which would increase EB-5 visa availability. Currently, there is a visa cap of 10,000, and the spouses and children of EB-5 visa holders count toward that cap. If the bill is passed, only the visas of EB-5 entrepreneurs would count toward the cap.

Sen. Cornyn’s bill would also adjust the minimum investment requirements of the EB-5 program. Currently, an investment of $500,000 is required in Targeted Employment Areas, and an investment of $1 million is required in non-targeted areas. The proposed legislation would modify those amounts to $800,000 and $925,000, respectively.

According to a recent report in The Real Deal, real estate experts are rallying behind the bill with the hope that it would stimulate the industry by allowing more foreign entrepreneurs to invest in U.S. real estate.

The EB-5 visa has been reauthorized until September 30, 2017. Whether the program will continue afterward is a matter of speculation, and given the bipartisan efforts to reform the program, it is likely that the eligibility requirements will change even if it is authorized to continue.

If you are interested in petitioning for an EB-5 visa, turn to the O’Brien Law Group. Rusty O’Brien is an immigration attorney in Louisville with more than 10 years of experience. He will answer your questions and demystify U.S. immigration laws. Call 502-400-7890 today to schedule a consultation.

What Qualifies as a Targeted Employment Area?

The EB-5 visa was introduced to stimulate the U.S. economy and, specifically, to bring jobs to low-employment and rural regions. According to the website of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a low-employment area is a region with an unemployment rate that is at least 150 percent the national average. A rural region is an area that is outside a city or town—as defined by the Office of Management and Budget—with a population of at least 20,000.

How Many Jobs Must Be Created by an EB-5 Investment?

Even if you are approved for an EB-5 visa, you and your family might lose the residency rights granted by the EB-5 visa if your investment does not create at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying employees.

If you invest in a regional center, these jobs can be created either directly or indirectly, meaning that jobs are created collaterally as a result of your investment count toward the total; however, if you invest in a new commercial enterprise, only jobs created directly will count toward the total. If you invest in a troubled business, job maintenance will also count toward the total.

If you intend to petition for an EB-5 visa, an experienced employment visa lawyer can help you avoid mistakes that would delay the process or lead to a denial of your application. Rusty O’Brien is an immigration attorney in Louisville who will answer your questions and give your case the individual attention that it deserves.

Call 502-400-7890 to schedule a consultation. You can learn more about U.S. immigration law by visiting

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