Shai Zamanian

On January 31, 2024, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule increasing the application filing fees for the U.S. Golden Visa. “Prospective investors who are considering filing their U.S. Golden Visa applications can benefit from the current lower fees by filing before the final rule goes into effect on April 1st,” says Shahriar (Shai) Zamanian, an EB-5 expert and founder of The American Legal Center.

About the U.S. Golden Visa

The EB-5 program is the Golden Visa equivalent for the United States. This investment migration program offers families the opportunity to secure their U.S. Green Cards by investing $800,000 in a government pre-approved real estate project in the United States. With this investment, each member of the family, comprising the main applicant, spouse, and children under 21 years old, are eligible to receive their own Green Cards, enabling them to work, reside, and travel freely within the United States.

U.S. Golden Visa filing fees

Currently, the government filing fee for an EB-5 application (Form I-526E, Immigrant Petition by a Regional Center Investor and Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor) is $3,675. The final rule increases the filing fee for an EB-5 application to $11,160, which is a $7,485 or 204 per cent increase from the current $3,675 fee.

The rationale for the fee increase cited by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is that the fees have not kept up with the increased costs of federal salaries and inflation costs for other goods and services since they have not been changed since 2016. As USCIS is primarily funded by fees charged to applicants and petitioners for immigration and naturalization benefit requests, these fee increases will allow USCIS to better manage its operations and to recover the full costs of services provided.

According to DHS, the fee increase will benefit both the U.S. government as well as applicants seeking immigration benefits. For the government, the main advantages encompass diminished administrative burdens and decreased occurrences of fee processing errors, heightened efficiency in the adjudicative process, and enhanced capability to accurately assess the cost of service provision, thereby facilitating better alignment of fees in future regulations. As for the applicants, the primary benefit lies in the heightened efficiency experienced throughout the adjudicative process, meaning faster processing times.

“Those contemplating filing their EB-5 applications can capitalize on the current lower fees by submitting their applications prior to the implementation of the final rule,” urges Zamanian. Compiling an EB-5 application can be a time-consuming endeavor, involving the collection of all necessary personal and financial documents, particularly those related to the source of investment funds.

Additional steps entail the assessment and selection of an appropriate EB-5 project for investment. Hence, individuals intending to apply for EB-5 must take immediate action to ensure their applications are submitted to USCIS before the impending fee hike, scheduled for April 1, 2024. Any benefit requests postmarked on or after this date must adhere to the fees stipulated in this final rule.

Given the time-sensitive nature of this process, it is highly recommended to work with experienced advisors. Zamanian and his team of U.S. licensed lawyers at The American Legal Center have over a decade of experience in the EB-5 industry and can help you and your family in filing your U.S. Golden Visa applications prior to the fee increase.

Contact The American Legal Center

The American Legal Center is dedicated to delivering exceptional client service for those interested in migrating to the United States through the EB-5 program. Their team of EB-5 experts have filed the most EB-5 applications in the GCC region. If you are considering the EB-5 program for yourself and your family, you can contact their team today for a complimentary initial consultation in their offices in Downtown Dubai.