On August 1st, together with Republican senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, President Trump introduced a new immigration bill, dubbed the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act. The bill, aimed at significantly curbing immigration to the United States and raising the bar in terms of the economic contribution of those who are admitted, would grant green-cards on the basis of a points system. As details start to emerge, it’s becoming clear that the prospect of the bill’s passing is painting a grim picture for the future of EB-5.
While the RAISE Act, if passed, would have wide-reaching consequences for a variety of existing immigration programs in the US, this article deals with the effects it would have on the EB-5 program.
- All employment-based programs (including EB-5) would be eliminated and replaced with a points system.
- An applicant would need 30 points to qualify for immigration.
How are points allocated?
Here are some examples:
- Age: Those aged 18-50 receive up to 10 points on a sliding scale, and those aged 51 and older receive no points.
- Educational attainment: A maximum of 13 points may be awarded depending on the level of educational attainment. Degrees from US institutions would carry more weight.
- English proficiency: While details have not been reported, the better your English, the more points.
- Extraordinary achievement: Nobel laureates would receive 25 points. Olympic gold medalists, 15 points.
- Salary: The higher the salary, the more points.
- Those who invest $1.35 million in a new US commercial enterprise receive 6 points. Those who invest 1.8 million, 12 points. In both cases, investors must be actively involved in the management and operations of the company.
The RAISE Act would eliminate the possibility of obtaining a US residence permit by way of passive investment, as investors would have to be involved entrepreneurs. And even if investors were willing to actively manage their business, they’d still need to find the remaining 24 or 18 points. It’s a challenge, but certainly not impossible: Invest 1.8 million, manage it, study English and, if the backlog isn’t reduced and wait-times remain at the current level, you’ll have plenty of time to practice your synchronized swimming routine ahead of the 2024 Olympics.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain.