The novel coronavirus pandemic has halted life around the world, confining ordinary people worldwide to their homes and forcing U.S. consulates globally to close. As the United States begins to look forward, the government is drafting plans to prioritize U.S. workers when the economy opens back up. One such measure President Trump has taken was signing a proclamation on April 22 that temporarily halts immigration to the United States.
In Trump’s own words, the proclamation is meant to ensure that “unemployed Americans of all backgrounds will be first in line for jobs as our economy reopens.” As the United States faces unprecedented economic turmoil while it slowly lays the foundation to return to normal life after COVID-19, the government plans to suspend certain types of immigration for 60 days.
While the proclamation generally prohibits immigration for a short period, it does not ban all immigration, and among the exceptions are EB-5 investors, along with their spouses and unmarried children younger than 21. EB-5 investors must, however, continue to monitor the numerous travel restrictions worldwide during the pandemic, as some may override an EB-5 investor’s exemption to Trump’s new immigration ban. EB-5 investors are advised to seek immigration counsel to determine their situation and options.
Since one of the requirements of the EB-5 program is the creation of 10 new full-time jobs for U.S. workers, the U.S. government likely sees it as a boon to the U.S. economic recovery efforts. The EB-5 program has the power to create new jobs, for which the U.S. will see overwhelming demand, and as EB-5 investors are required to invest a minimum of $1.8 million or $900,000, depending on whether their EB-5 project is in a targeted employment area, the program introduces substantial capital into the U.S. economy. This also means the program exclusively brings in wealthy individuals and families who will not require assistance from U.S. social welfare programs.
In 2008, suffering under the weight of a global recession, developers funded their projects through the EB-5 program because they couldn’t access traditional funding. The program proved a superb way to boost the U.S. economy and helped countless U.S. workers find new jobs. As the United States faces another economic downturn, with skyrocketing unemployment rates, the EB-5 program may be just what the United States needs to get back on track.