The USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) has proposed changes which would streamline the EB-5 Visa (investor visa) program. The EB-5 Visa allows investors to immigrate to the US if they contribute to commercial endeavors that create at least ten jobs in the US.
As part of President Obama’s efforts to make US immigration fairer and more accessible while improving the US economy, the USCIS has proposed changing the intake and review process, which would potentially make the process of getting EB-5 US visas easier for qualified investors.
Currently, the EB-5 Visa makes about 10,000 US visas available each year to non-US investors. The program helps create jobs and gives qualified investors a chance to live and work in the US. The program was created in 1990 by Congress in order to attract investors to help strengthen the US economy and job market.
The USCIS has suggested three main changes to the visa investor EB5 program:
1) The USCIS has proposed to make the processing of EB-5 applications faster in cases where application projects are ready to be launched and fully developed. The USCIS has also proposed that these applicants with fully developed investment ideas be given the option of paying an extra fee in order to get the Premium Processing Service. This service guarantees processing of the application within 15 calendar days and also gives applicants choices for tracking their application.
2) The USCIS has proposed creating special intake teams. Team members would be familiar with the EB-5 program and with economics, so that they would be able to handle EB-5 US immigration forms quickly and effectively. Applicants at EB-5 Regional Centers would be able to contact the teams through email directly in order to ask questions and resolve any problems with their applications.
3) The USCIS has proposed creating a Decision Board, which would make Regional Center application decisions related to the EB-5 program. The board would include adjudicators, economists, and would have assistance from attorneys.
The aim of all three suggested changes is to make it easier for foreign investors to create jobs in the U.S. without unneeded delays or problems. Changes such as these, the USCIS believes, will make it even easier to attract investors interested in creating jobs.
The proposed changes are online and can be seen on the USCIS website. The USCIS is also accepting public comments about these proposed changes until 17 June 2011, so if you have any ideas of opinions about these proposed changes, be sure to visit the website to give your views.