John Burson 
edited Friday, March 1, 2024

After applying for an EB-5 visa and receiving a US Green Card, those seeking to settle in America with permanent citizenship may have to pay additional costs. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had suggested changing the fees charged by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for some immigration and naturalization benefit requests, including those for the EB-5 visa program and H-1B visa.

The new EB5 visa fee structure is expected to have a major financial impact, and many applicants will see significant fee increases. The comment period on the proposed USCIS rule was initially set to end in mid-March 2023 by the DHS, but it has since been extended to March 2024.

Of the several proposed changes, an important one is about the EB-5 Visa Program. EB–5 is an Employment-Based Immigrant Visa, Fifth Preference. DHS proposes changes to various fees for regional centers and related immigration benefit requests related to Employment-Based Immigrant Visas, Fifth Preference (EB–5).

The EB-5 program provides approximately 10,000 visas per year to foreign nationals (and their dependents) who invest at least $1,050,000, or a discounted amount of $800,000 if the investment is in a targeted employment area (TEA) (which includes certain rural areas and areas of high unemployment) or infrastructure project in a U.S. business that will create at least ten full-time jobs for qualifying employees).

The proposed fee of $11,160, a 204 percent increase from the current $3,675 fee, is for Forms I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, and Form I-526E, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor.

The proposed fee for Form I–829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, is $9,525, a $5,775 or 154 percent increase from the current $3,750 fee.

The proposed fee for Form I–956, Application for Regional Center Designation, is $47,695, a $29,900 or 168-percent increase from the $17,795 fee for Form I–924, Application for Regional Center Designation under the Immigrant Investor Program.

DHS also proposes a $47,695 fee for Form I–956F, Application for Approval of Investment in a Commercial Enterprise, because the information it collects and the benefit that results was previously an optional submission adjudicated on Form I–924 when included.

The proposed fee for Form I–956G, Regional Center Annual Statement, is $4,470, a $1,435 or 47 percent increase from the $3,035 fee for Form I–924A,

The current USCIS EB-5 fee schedule was published in a fee rule that went into effect more than six years ago, on December 23, 2016. The EB–5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 repealed the prior authorizing statute for the EB5 regional center program’’ and codified a substantially reformed regional center program.

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