By Kingsley Adegboye

International investors who are interested in seeking permanent United States’ residency in return for making a qualified real estate investment can now cash in on the US Government’s temporary reinstatement of EB-5 investment at US$500,000 through direct EB5 investment.

Houston EB5, has over the years worked diligently towards helping international investors gain the permanent US residency in return for making a qualified real estate investment.

In 2019, the US Government implemented changes to the EB-5 Investor Program as part of a comprehensive EB-5 modernisation law passed by Congress. The most notable change was 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.

However, 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.

Nevertheless, there are currently two new EB-5 bills including Regional Center reauthorisation circulating in the U.S. Senate, both contemplating a higher investment amount and this is expected to happen in September 2021.

This means that at the moment, investors have between now and September 30 at the latest (per key USCIS Sunset dates) to secure their spot in an EB-5 project at the $500,000 investment level. Although everyone in the industry is unsure how long this 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.

Speaking recently at a press briefing, Chief Executive Officer, 3INVEST, Ruth Obih stated that the 2019 increase to $900,000 saw a drop in the level of investors, therefore calling for intending investors to key into this opportunity.

3INVEST is a Nigeria-based real estate investment group and the African partners to Houston EB5.

According to Obih, just like the US lottery, this may just be a rare and final opportunity for families  who want to obtain a second passport through US EB5 investment.

3INVEST boss explained that according to the new policy, which saw the statutory authorisation related to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program which expired at midnight on June 30, 2021, this lapse in authorisation does not affect EB-5 petitions filed by investors who are not seeking a visa under the Regional Center Program.

She said 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 U.S.

“Moderno Porcelain Works offers a more personalised investment opportunity and smaller capital raise to begin each project. Additionally, another attractive aspect of the new opportunity is that returns are paid yearly instead of being accrued,” says Azuike, the Managing Director, Houston EB5.

According to Azuike: “Houston EB5 chose to offer an EB-5 Visa investment in Moderno for several strategic reasons including the ability to provide repeatedly, 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.

Therefore, investors are strongly advised to key into this rare opportunity as soon as possible to engage a U.S immigration attorney to begin working on the Source of Funds to kick-start their investment journey,” Houston EB5 boss stated. Houston EB-5 was founded in 2010 to help international investors gain permanent US residency in return for making a qualified real estate investment. Certified by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as an EB-5 Regional Center, Houston EB5 has more than 25 years of real estate experience and is currently celebrating over 10 years in the EB5 industry.

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