Congress extended the deadline a week on Friday for the EB-5 immigration program, a way for foreigners to obtain green cards through investment in the United States, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The program that’s faced mounting scrutiny from lawmakers was set to expire but was saved—for now—in the nick of time as the government passed a continuing resolution to extend federal funding through May 5, which encompassed EB-5.
The last vote, the EB-5 saw bi-partisan support with 100 – 0 in favor of re-authorization the Senate & 412-3 in favor in the House of Representatives. Politicians aren’t the only ones supporting the job creating-platform with cities expressing their support before the vote next week.
“The EB-5 program has been an economic engine in Greater Cleveland, helping to yield hotels, hospital expansions, grocery stores and other downtown renovations and jobs.”
Speculation over the proposed changes has varied with some stating there will be an increase in the investment amount from $500,000 to $800,000. Others are stating it will be increased to $1,350,000, a move that will place America alongside other countries ‘golden visa’ requirements.
Eric Orenstein, an attorney who handles EB-5 matters for Rosenberg & Estis PC of New York believes that that the current $500,000 threshold will be increased to about $800,000. “The $1 million amount will also be increased, but no one is certain yet what that amount will be,” he added.
Orenstein believes that the market could handle an increase from $500,000 to “around $750,000.” But the $1.35 million proposed by USCIS could be a problem.
“There is very little justification for an increase that big,” Orenstein said. “Even though other countries do charge more for similar programs, you don’t have the same hurdles to overcome like you do in EB-5, which has job creation requirements.”
Investors in the region will have to wait until the end of this week for congress to act.
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