The United States Congress has until 23 March to revise current EB-5 laws. We have reached a point where it is highly unlikely to happen. If changes are not enacted, Congress will kick the proverbial can down the road again with the current program intact until the end of the current fiscal year, 20 September 2018.
While it seems like Congress is simply adding a new verse to the same song they have been singing for several years, there is some movement behind the scenes as congressional staff members are busy revising “The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa and Regional Center Reform Act” in hopes of meeting the March 23rd deadline. If the bill does not make the floor this week, we will at least have made “one giant step for mankind” in readying the act for approval before September 30th.
Since everything in the bill is still subject to change, we will not cover all the proposals in this article, but here are highlights that may be most relevant to our readers.
- Yes, the bill proposes changes to the minimum investment amount. This has been the BIG question for everyone involved in the EB-5 program, especially investors. The minimums would depend upon the projects themselves defined as set-asides and non-set-asides, and the minimums would be subject to adjustments every three years, based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.
- The minimum investment for projects designated as set-asides will be $925,000. Essentially, this replaces the previous $500,000 minimum invested through the Regional Center program. The set-asides are investments in infrastructure projects and any approved projects in defined rural areas. We anticipate that there will be a limited number of set-asides available each year.
- The proposed minimum investments for projects not designated as set-asides is $1,025,000.
- The proposal suggests changes for the job creation requirement. Generally, the minimum number of full-time positions created will increase from 10 to 12. However, there is also a proposal to reduce the number of jobs created to nine under certain conditions, including projects in rural areas and projects contained entirely within the boundaries of certain former U.S. military bases.
- The may be a significant change in the allowed source of funds. As we understand the current draft, petitioners may no longer be able to use tangible assets, such as properties located outside of the U.S. as a source of funding.
Another investor-related measure may include measures to protect investors whose funds have been used in failed or troubled projects. The current proposal allows for re-designation of those funds under certain circumstances. This could also change the date for removal of conditions.
We are gaining confidence that some action will be taken, if not by March 23rd, then before September 30th.
Schedule the consultation with U.S. Immigration attorney to maximize your chances of successful immigration.
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