EB-5 Extension Passed
Ahead of the holiday season the House of Representatives has passed short-term government funding that reauthorizes several programs including the EB-5 Regional Center Program until December 20, 2019. To avert a government shutdown, the Senate must vote on the continuing resolution before it heads to the president’s desk for his signature.
The EB-5 Modernization Regulation Is In Effect
Additionally, the EB-5 Modernization Regulation has gone into effect. This new rule’s biggest change is that it increases the minimum investment amount for targeted employment area (TEA) investments as well as non-TEA investments.
New EB-5 Minimum Investment Amounts
TEA investments will increase from $500,000 to $900,000 and non-TEA investments will increase from $1 million to $1.8 million.
DHS Takes Over TEA Designations
The second biggest change that will effect the EB-5 Program is to targeted employment area designation. States will no longer have the authority to designate TEA. Instead, the Department of Homeland Security will be the sole authority for TEA designation.
What To Make of The EB-5 Reform Bill
News of a popular EB-5 reform bill in the Senate has a few wondering if Congress was going to push back the EB-5 Modernization Regulation to allow the reform bill’s proposed changes to potentially take its place. This, however, was unlikely as the EB-5 Modernization Regulation’s changes are the most significant changes to go into effect since the first time the EB-5 Program was revised back in 1993, so these changes are likely to stay a while.
EB-5 Issues To Consider
The EB-5 reform bill did bring up many points that Congress will likely need to address soon. The first point the reform bill addressed was the EB-5 Regional Center Program’s need for a longer term extension. The reform bill would reauthorize the EB-5 Regional Center Program to 2025. The second issue the reform bill addressed was visa retrogression. It would alleviate some of the visa backlog issues by providing investors, with approved I-526 petitions, who have been waiting 3+ years for a visa, eligibility for parole and U.S. work authorization. The third change the bill proposed was to the minimum investment amounts. It would raise the minimum investment amount from $500,000 in TEA investments to $1 million and it would modestly increase the minimum non-TEA investment amount to $1.1 million making the two options more competitive.
The Visa Cap
Good news for the EB-5 Program in FY 2020, according to Chief Oppenheim, the EB-5 Program will be entitled to 11,000 visas. This is 10% higher than the regular limit.
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