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The Department of Homeland Security will finalize a regulation that raises minimum investment amounts in the EB-5 visa program. The program currently allows foreigners who invest $1 million in a U.S. commercial project that will create or preserve at least 10 jobs to apply for a green card. The investment threshold drops to $500,000 if the project takes place in a high-unemployment or rural area.

A final rule set to publish Wednesday in the Federal Register will raise those investment amounts. The standard threshold will increase to $1.8 million and lower threshold will rise to $900,000 — a smaller hike than the $1.35 million proposed in an earlier version of the regulation. The investment amount then will be raised every five years to keep pace with inflation.

Critics have argued the EB-5 program, which offers roughly 10,000 visas each year, allows immigrants to obtain green cards at too low a cost and could be vulnerable to fraud. The Trump administration moved ahead with the regulation at the urging of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and other lawmakers. Under the new policy, which will take effect Nov. 21, the Homeland Security Department will designate certain geographic areas as "targeted employment areas" eligible for the lower investment threshold. Under current guidelines, states make that determination.

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Updated: Tue, Aug 6th 2019 @ 12:20pm EDT