Originally Posted on National Real Estate Investor / Diana Bell / May 4, 2017
While Congress extended the EB-5 program in its current form through September 30th, 2017, serious reform debates are underway, including: minimum investment amounts, stricter oversight and integrity measures, and reclassification of targeted employment areas (TEAs).
This week, Congress extended the EB-5 investor visa program in its current form through September 30, 2017, as part of the new government budget deal. After about two years of re-enacting the program as-is, sources say there are now genuine efforts afoot to reform it sooner than later. Minimum investment amounts, stricter oversight and reclassification of targeted employment areas (TEAs) are on the debate agenda. Longstanding visa-processing inefficiencies within the EB-5 program also need attention.
As the reform is being discussed, the industry is also looking at the capability of the EB-5 program to fund infrastructure development.
There is a “genuine desire to get reform done,” says Michael Halloran, CEO of NES Financial, a Silicon Valley-based fintech company that has transacted in the EB-5 space since 2010. “Most likely, there will be an increase to the minimum [investment amount].”
Should legislators not agree on changes to the program, it’s possible that U.S. Citizen & Immigration Services (USCIS) itself will raise minimum investment limits to $1.35 million and $1.8 million for TEAs and non-TEAs, respectively. The agency recently issued a proposed rule change and request for comment. “This would freeze up money,” Halloran says… Continue Reading >>