Shai Zamanian at the American Legal Center office in Downtown Dubai

Access to the United States through investment immigration is now more enticing for families residing in the Middle East and surrounding nations given recent positive changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme in March this year. The EB-5 programme has been among the most popular US immigration programmes as it allows foreign investors to obtain US Green Cards for themselves and their qualifying family members, including spouse and children under the age of 21, with an investment of $800,000 into a new commercial enterprise in the US.

Families can participate in the EB-5 programme by investing $800,000 in a project sponsored by a regional centre, an economic unit designated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that pools EB-5 applicant investments to meet various investment and job creation requirements.

On March 15, the EB-5 programme was revitalsed through the enactment of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA or the Act). The Act reauthorised the EB-5 Regional Center Programme through September 30, 2027 and implemented various changes to the programme to increase transparency and security for foreign nationals participating in the programme.

Stable programme

The Act reauthorised the EB-5 programme for the next five years. This is the first time since 2015 that the EB-5 regional center programme has received such a lengthy reauthorisation. This move by the US Congress provides comfort for families looking to participate in the EB-5 programme as they can rest assured that the programme will be open for years to come.

Additionally, it shows the confidence of the US government in the programme and its positive role in boosting the US economy through the injection of foreign capital.

In addition to the lengthy reauthorisation, families can benefit from the RIA’s grandfathering provision, which provides that petitions filed on or before September 30, 2026 will continue to be adjudicated even upon the expiration of the EB-5 programme. This newly added provision creates more security for existing EB-5 investors as their files will continue to be processed by USCIS in the event of a programme suspension and they will still be able to receive their US Green Cards in a timely manner.

Concurrent filing

The Act now makes it possible for EB-5 investors to live, work, and study in the US while they are waiting for their green card application to be processed. The concurrent filing provision of the RIA allows certain EB-5 investors residing in the United States to submit their Adjustment of Status petition (Form I-485) simultaneously with their EB-5 application (Form I-526E). These investors will receive a travel permit and work authorisation to work in the US. Concurrent filing provides a great benefit for EB-5 applicants as it allows foreign nationals to lawfully reside in the United States while awaiting the adjudication of their EB-5 petition.

Investor protection

The Act provides protection for good faith EB-5 applicants that have invested in a regional center, a new commercial enterprise, or a job-creating entity that has been terminated or debarred. Such good faith investors will be given notice by the Secretary of Homeland Security and will have six months to either invest in another new commercial enterprise or have the new commercial enterprise associate with an approved regional center. This means that these innocent investors will not lose their place in line and can still benefit from receiving their US Green Cards through the EB-5 programme.

Programme is current

The EB-5 programme is now full speed ahead and EB-5 investors can file their Green Card applications to take advantage of the many benefits of the programme. Families are further incentivised to participate in the programme given that the programme is now “current” according to the August 2022 Visa Bulletin published by the US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs, meaning that there is no backlog for petitioners, except for those born in mainland China.

Join the next seminar

As leaders in the EB-5 industry and having filed the most EB-5 applications out of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, the team at The American Legal Center continues to educate the market by hosting free educational seminars that allow investors to interact with the lawyers and learn more about the programme. “We strongly believe in the power of knowledge and we will continue to disseminate information regarding the EB-5 programme along with our insight to families in Dubai and the wider Middle East region,” says Shai Zamanian, Legal Director of The American Legal Center.

The American Legal Center is hosting their next seminar on Saturday, September 17, 2022, at the Address Skyview in Downtown Dubai.

The seminar will be divided into two sessions, one at 2pm and another at 4pm. To start your migration journey to the US and to learn more about the EB-5 programme, you can RSVP by contacting +971 50 938 6092 or