The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any other crisis the world has experienced in recent years. It has brought life to a halt all across the world, shuttering businesses and confining people to their homes as it ravages their countries. The United States was not immune, suffering alongside its international neighbors, and in turn, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program underwent some major changes, such as the closure of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices to the public and the temporary cessation of routine visa services at U.S. embassies and consulates around the globe. Fortunately, the pandemic is abating in many countries, and life is beginning to return to normal. But will people really still want to travel and immigrate after the COVID-19 pandemic passes?
It may take some time, but international travel and immigration demand will inevitably return to pre-pandemic levels. As the threat decreases and the memories fade, people’s desire to see the world and move to other countries will come back. This pattern has already been seen in other crises, such as the September 11 terrorist attacks and the 2008 global recession. In both cases, travel demand initially sunk, but it only took a few years to return to normal levels.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a more profound effect on the world than the two above-mentioned crises, so travel and immigration demand may take longer to bounce back this time, but it will bounce back nonetheless. Airlines, hotels, and restaurants—some of the sectors most severely affected by the lockdowns—will come up with innovative campaigns to reignite people’s desire to travel, and “lockdown fatigue” will fuel people’s wanderlust. As countries drop more and more restrictions and people regain a sense of safety, international travel and immigration will return. The question is not “if” but “when.”
Every country has handled the COVID-19 pandemic differently, which has inevitably led to dramatically different outcomes. Some people may be displeased with their government’s handling of the crisis and disturbed by the poor infrastructure in their country. Any foreign investors in this camp have an easy path to a better country: the EB-5 program. The United States features the most advanced medical facilities in the world, offering security to foreign investors disillusioned by their home country’s medical capabilities. Making life in the United States even better are world-class post-secondary education institutes and a prosperous business landscape, guaranteeing a better life for EB-5 investors and their families.
Immigrate to the United States with the EB-5 Program
Immigration isn’t easy—if it were, the United States would be overwhelmed. That being said, the EB-5 program is one of the quickest and easiest ways to start a new life in the United States. The EB-5 program has continued throughout the pandemic, with USCIS adjudicating EB-5 petitions. U.S. embassies and consulates around the world are still closed as of June 17, 2020, meaning overseas investors currently can’t claim their visas, but USCIS domestic offices began reopening on June 4, 2020. As long as the number of infections stays down, more and more restrictions are set to lift.
Any foreign nationals interested in investing in the EB-5 program should speak with an immigration lawyer to discuss their options. The main requirement is an investment of $900,000 or $1.8 million, depending on whether the EB-5 project is in a targeted employment area (TEA). If the investment meets EB-5 requirements, the investor—as well as their spouse and unmarried children younger than 21—is granted U.S. permanent resident status. The pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone, but we can all—especially EB-5 investors—look forward to a brighter future.