Immigration Act of 1990
The Immigration Act of 1990 was established by the 101st Congress (1989-1990). In section 203(b)(5), the Immigrant Investor program sets aside a maximum of 10,000 EB-5 immigrant visas each year to entrepreneurs petitioning for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status. These aliens’ petitions are accepted based upon a monetary investment in a U.S. commercial enterprise and the ability for that investment to create domestic jobs in the United States.
This law amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to set a permanent annual worldwide level of immigration, beginning fully in 1995, with transition years from 1992 through 1994. The EB-5 visa program was listed in the Immigration Act under Part 2: Employment-Based Immigrants, as summarized in the bill:
(5) employment creation investors who invest specified minimum amounts (with adjustments for rural areas, high unemployment areas, and high employment areas) which will create at least a specified minimum number of new jobs (with such entrepreneurs and their spouses and children to be admitted on a two-year conditional basis, with procedures to deter immigration-related entrepreneurship fraud).
Originally titled the Immigration Act of 1989, the bill was proposed on February 7th, 1989 but it did not become public law until November 29th, 1990. The official sponsor for the Immigration Act of 1990 was Senator Edward M. Kennedy (Democrat, Massachusetts) along with four bipartisan cosponsors: Senator Alan K. Simpson (Republican, Wyoming), Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (Democrat, New York), Senator Alfonse D’Amato (Republican, New York), and Senator Christopher J. Dodd (Democrat, Connecticut). Both the Senate and House Judiciary Committees were instrumental in introducing and passing this bill into law.
Here is the original text of the law regarding the Investor Immigrant Visa in the Immigration Act of 1990:
(5) EMPLOYMENT CREATION-
`(A) IN GENERAL- Visas shall be made available, in a number not to exceed 10,000, to qualified immigrants seeking to enter the United States for the purpose of engaging in a new commercial enterprise–
`(i) which the alien has established,
`(ii) in which such alien has invested (after the date of the enactment of the Immigration Act of 1990) or, is actively in the process of investing, capital in an amount not less than the amount specified in subparagraph (C), and
`(iii) which will benefit the United States economy and create full-time employment for not fewer than 10 United States citizens or aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence or other immigrants lawfully authorized to be employed in the United States (other than the immigrant and the immigrant’s spouse, sons, or daughters).
`(B) SET-ASIDE FOR TARGETTED EMPLOYMENT AREAS-
`(i) IN GENERAL- Not less than 3,000 of the visas made available under this paragraph in each fiscal year shall be reserved for qualified immigrants who establish a new commercial enterprise described in subparagraph (A) which will create employment in a targeted employment area.
`(ii) TARGETTED EMPLOYMENT AREA DEFINED- In this paragraph, the term `targeted employment area’ means, at the time of the investment, a rural area or an area which has experienced high unemployment (of at least 150 percent of the national average rate).
`(iii) RURAL AREA DEFINED- In this paragraph, the term `rural area’ means any area other than an area within a metropolitan statistical area or within the outer boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more (based on the most recent decennial census of the United States).
`(C) AMOUNT OF CAPITAL REQUIRED-
`(i) IN GENERAL- Except as otherwise provided in this subparagraph, the amount of capital required under subparagraph (A) shall be $1,000,000. The Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of State, may from time to time prescribe regulations increasing the dollar amount specified under the previous sentence.
`(ii) ADJUSTMENT FOR TARGETTED EMPLOYMENT AREAS- The Attorney General may, in the case of investment made in a targeted employment area, specify an amount of capital required under subparagraph (A) that is less than (but not less than 1/2 of) the amount specified in clause (i).
`(iii) ADJUSTMENT FOR HIGH EMPLOYMENT AREAS- In the case of an investment made in a part of a metropolitan statistical area that at the time of the investment–
`(I) is not a targeted employment area, and
`(II) is an area with an unemployment rate significantly below the national average unemployment rate, the Attorney General may specify an amount of capital required under
subparagraph (A) that is greater than (but not greater than 3 times) the amount specified in clause (i).’.
`(b) DETERRING IMMIGRATION-RELATED ENTREPRENEURSHIP FRAUD-
(1) CONDITIONAL BASIS FOR PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS BASED ON ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISES- Chapter 2 of title II is amended by inserting after section 216 the following new section:
`CONDITIONAL PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS FOR CERTAIN ALIEN ENTREPRENEURS, SPOUSES, AND CHILDREN