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U.S. EB-5 Program

Another Continuing Resolution for EB-5

13 December 2016

Another Continuing Resolution for EB-5
Another extension of the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is in store until April 28, 2017. The U.S. House of Representatives has proposed a Continuing Resolution that would keep the program open through to next spring without any changes to program policy. 

The Continuing Resolution passed in September extended the EB-5 Program until this December with no changes, and the extension this time around will also not impose any changes. The Continuing Resolution is expected to pass in the coming days.

Despite the attempts by industry leaders and congressional offices to reach consensus and compromise on a reform package for the EB-5 program, there was simply not enough time to get an approved deal during this Congress session. The short-term extension will allow the EB-5 industry much needed time to agree on a comprehensive reauthorization bill that will provide necessary and awaited reforms to the program, allowing it to continue to thrive in the future. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed legislation is anticipated to be published at some point in the month of January.

The EB-5 Program was introduced in 1990 in an effort to stimulate the U.S. economy through foreign investment and job creation. In 1992, Congress enhanced the EB-5 Program by allowing the designation of Regional Centers by the USCIS for economic development projects within a defined geographic area, which would allow the pooling of capital from multiple foreign investors.

The minimum investment required by an EB-5 investor in an approved Regional Center is US$500,000, and there must be proof that the investment will create at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. As designated Regional Centers are already developing projects that are generating jobs, all the investor has to do is invest the funds into the company. Many wealthy investors who wish to avoid the burden of starting their own enterprise choose to make an investment in a Regional Center.

The majority of EB-5 capital is used in commercial developments in the U.S. The hospitality industry is one of the most attractive options for investment as it tends to create the most jobs. Since the new administration is said to be supportive of the EB-5 Program, the chance that they would have allowed it to expire was slim. Not extending the program would have very negative consequences on U.S. economy as it would be closing its doors on successful business people bringing economic activity to the country. The EB-5 Program is one of the best ways to foster immigration for those foreign nationals that would have the most positive impact on the U.S. economy, and should be allowed to continue to do so in the long term.

Notwithstanding the Continuing Resolution, future reforms to the EB-5 Program will most likely include increased minimum investment amounts that have been discussed at length. Those who are interested in investing in a U.S. Green Card under the US$500,000 scheme should not delay in getting their applications submitted; this may be your last chance to do so. Contact our office to get started today.

For more information on the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, please click here.

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