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Under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, foreigners looking to immigrate to the US can invest in an approved EB-5 project to get a green card for themselves, their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21.

“Under the new EB-5 law of March 2022, also known as the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA), US Congress has designated three preferential areas, which are the rural area, target employment area (TEA) and infrastructure area. Investors who are investing in those will have their cases handled as a priority,” explains Hussaini Nalwalla, Director of Sternon Group, which specialises in real estate and US immigration consultancy. “Furthermore, the investors are required to invest $800,000 (Dh2.9 million) as opposed to $1,050,000 in non-qualifying projects. Finally, Indian and Chinese nationals who have suffered from many years of backlog concerning green card availability, currently do not have such a backlog should they invest in a qualifying rural area EB-5 project.”

Set-aside EB-5 visas

EB-5 investors from countries with visa backlogs like China and India face extended waiting periods for their green cards that may stretch to several additional years. The RIA offers a unique solution to such investors. “Each year, the USCIS now sets aside 32 per cent of the total EB-5 visa quota for three investment categories: rural TEAs (20 per cent), high-unemployment TEAs (10 per cent), and infrastructure projects (2 per cent),” says Nalwalla.

Foreigners investing in these projects qualify for set-aside EB-5 visas. And as long as there is a supply of designated EB-5 visas, they are exempted from additional delays caused by visa backlogs. Chinese and Indian investors who qualify for these visas will be able to skip the line over other compatriot investors who do not qualify for them and will likely immigrate years sooner.

Advantages of rural EB-5 projects

Compared to other reserved visa categories, rural EB5 projects offer many distinct advantages. One of them is the lower demand compared to the number of designated visas available.

High-unemployment TEA projects are popular in the EB-5 industry. As a result the 10 per cent of visas reserved for this category are likely to be used up quickly. While demand for infrastructure projects, a relatively new and obscure project category, is low, only a small number of projects qualify.

Relatively, rural EB-5 projects occupy a favourable position, with a generous supply of designated visas and lower demand for this category.

Rural projects are advantageous for all EB-5 investors; for those living outside the US as well as for those already on US non-immigrant visas. “The applicants holding US non-immigrant visas can immediately adjust their immigrant status after investing,” explains Nalwalla. “For the applicants residing abroad who often face lengthy waiting periods before they can immigrate, the set-aside visas for rural projects can significantly reduce that waiting time.”

EB-5 approved project from Sternon Group

Sternon Group is now promoting an EB-5 approved project in a rural community that helps investors expedite their green card process by avoiding the long waiting periods. Indian and Chinese nationals can significantly benefit from this as they can skip the line and process their applications sooner than a standardised petition.

Established more than 25 years ago in the UAE, Sternon Group has grown its presence in the immigration consultancy and real estate industry with corporate offices in Dubai, India, and the US.

On the immigration consultancy front, Sternon has assisted numerous eligible clients in achieving their US permanent residency and citizenship status. It has also assisted clients to migrate to Canada through the Express Entry Skilled Worker Program.

In the real estate sector, Sternon Group has successfully developed and marketed projects in the US, the UAE, Mauritius, Australia, and India, and has a global footprint across 16 countries.

To schedule your free consultation with Sternon Group, email or call 04 351 9070.

This content comes from Reach by Gulf News, which is the branded content team of GN Media.