‘Take Advantage of Reduction in US EB-5 Investor Programme’ - THISDAY
BY Goddy Egene
International investors have been urged to take advantage of the reduction in the minimum investment in the EB-5 Investor Programme in the United States (US) to $500,000 from $900,000.
The Houston EB5, through the years, has worked diligently towards helping international investors gain permanent United States (US)residency in return for making a qualified real estate investment.
However, in 2019, the US government implemented changes to the EB-5 Investor Programme as part of a comprehensive EB-5 modernisation law passed by Congress, which led to the increase in the minimum investment amounts from $500,000 to $900,000 for Targeted Employment Area (TEA) investments and $1 million to $1.8 million for non-Targeted Employment Area (TEA) investments.
A new hope was reinstated following the recent court ruling by The U.S Northern District Court of California, which reduced the EB-5 Minimum Investment to $500,000 on June 23, 2021, on the ground that the decision to increase the minimum EB-5 investment amount from $500,000 to $900,000 must be vacated as the USCIS Acting Director lacked the authority at that time to issue that regulation.
Although there are currently two new EB-5 bills including Regional Center reauthorization circulating in the U.S. Senate, both contemplating a higher investment amount and this is expected to happen in September 2021, investors have between now until September 30th at the latest (per key USCIS Sunset dates) to secure their spot in an EB-5 project at the $500,000 investment level.
Beside, everyone in the industry is unsure how long this the ruling will remain effective, it is clear that for a short period of time investors can invest $500,000 to become eligible for an EB-5 green card. Hence, the Chief Executive Officer of 3INVEST, a real estate investment group and the African partner to Houston EB5, Ruth Obih, has advised intending investors to key into this opportunity.
“Just like the US lottery, this may just be a rare and final opportunity for families who want to obtain a 2nd passport through US EB5 Investing,” she said, noting that the 2019 increase to $900,000 saw a drop in the level of investors.
The Managing Director, Houston EB5, Acho Azuike, said: “Additionally, another attractive aspect of the new opportunity is that returns are paid yearly instead of being accrued.” He explained that going forward, only direct EB5 Investment and projects creating direct employment such as Moderno Porcelain works, which is the latest project currently offered by Houston EB-5 will qualify for the EB-5 Visa.
“Serving as the future of EB5 Investing, Moderno Porcelain Works, is currently one of the few approved operational businesses in the EB-5 industry ready and able to process direct EB-5 investments in the US. Moderno Porcelain Works offer a more personalised investment opportunity and smaller capital raise to begin each project,” said.
According to him, Houston EB5 chose to offer an EB-5 Visa investment in Moderno for several strategic reasons including the ability to provide repeatable, predictable results. “Moderno is a matured business model with several large retail and builder accounts to service. Your investment will fund the opening of new service locations (HUBs), expanding Moderno’s national reach. With six operational centres currently, in Texas, Florida, and Minnesota, EB-5 Houston completed the raise for three additional locations with plans to expand to a total of 60 cities by 2026,” Azuike said.