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Definition of Rural in EB-5

recorded: Sep '22

Under the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA), a "rural" area for EB-5 purposes is defined as any location outside of a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and beyond the boundary of a city or town with a population of 20,000 or more. This definition aligns with the earlier characterization based on the most recent decennial census of the United States.

The Immigration Agency has set aside more than 3,000 visas in this fiscal year for investors directing their investments into rural projects. Such investments are particularly attractive due to several advantages:

  1. Lower Investment Threshold: Rural projects qualify for the reduced investment amount of $800,000 instead of the standard $1,050,000.

  2. Priority Processing: Applications related to rural areas are now processed in less than one year, significantly faster than other categories which are estimated to take 50 months.

  3. Visa Set-Asides: 20% of all EB-5 visas, amounting to substantial visa set-asides, are exclusively reserved for investors in rural projects. This allocation enables these investors to bypass the backlog of approximately 11,000 yet-to-be-adjudicated petitions.

Investing in rural areas within the EB-5 program offers potential benefits both in terms of financial outlay and expedited visa processing.

Transcription - Robert Divine and Kurt Reuss

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