Just after noon on Friday, May 5, 2017, President Donald Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017. The new law approves $1.1 trillion in Federal appropriations through September 30, 2017.
One of the provisions of the bill extends the EB-5 Regional Center program without change through the same date.
Although the Consolidated Appropriations Act did not change any provisions of the EB-5 program, we expect further Congressional and regulatory efforts in the very near future.
EB-5 allows foreign investors to obtain a green card for themselves and their families in exchange for a $500,000 to $1 million investment in a job-creating U.S. venture, but the ’90s-era program has fallen under federal scrutiny in recent years.
EB-5 has gained popularity in recent years, tripling since 2011.
The increased popularity and awareness of the program has led to the program maxing out the 10,000 visa quota per year in recent years. The program has supported U.S. job creation and was recently used by a Trump-branded development in New Jersey.
However, the popularity from foreign investors has also led to fraudsters game the system with a number of investors losing out on their green cards, and sometimes money, after years of wait. A recent case saw a $150 Million settlementto pay back investors left in limbo after the ski-resort project they invested in was never completed.
The system is in need of change but Since 2015 the immigration program has survived through a series of last-minute extensions, yet reform may be closer than ever.
Draft language has been circulating suggesting that there will be an increase of the required investment amount from $500,000 to $800,000 and an increase in the compliance requirements for the Region Centers authorized to invest foreign funds. A change that will see a safer path for foreign investors while still maintaining US job creation.
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