For over 25 years, the EB-5 program has been a central part of foreign investment in the United States. The program designed to provide visas to investors from other countries has paved the way for job creation and for numerous foreign enterprises that stimulate local economies throughout the country. For more information or help obtaining an EB-5 visa, contact a Tampa EB-5 immigration attorney at Cotney Construction Law.
However, this program has come under fire in recent years with allegations ranging from not fulfilling its stated objectives to facilitating fraud. In response to this, a number of bills have been drafted in Congress, including a bipartisan one by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Pat Leahy (D-VT), aimed at reforming the program. While there is support for overhauling the program, there are a number of factors that stand in the way, including:
- There’s a great deal of support for the program among a number of groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Real Estate Roundtable. It’s important to note that EB-5 has support in the state of Florida as well where over $150 million of EB-5 program funds have been invested.
- It’s uncertain what direction the White House will take in regards to this issue. At this time, they have not appointed a director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which administers the EB-5 program.
- With newly elected members of Congress in place, it’s uncertain where they will weigh in on the issue as well.
While there is a great deal of variation in how proposed reform of the EB-5 program will materialize, changes center primarily on two areas:
- Investment Qualifications: Historically, people have been required to invest $500,000, if the project is located in a Targeted Economic Area (TEA), and $1,000,000 for projects in general areas. It is widely believed that these qualifications will rise by several thousand dollars in both cases.
- TEA Designations: It’s also believed what is considered a TEA will change. Historically, a TEA was considered either a rural area with a high poverty rate or an urban area with an unemployment rate 150 percent above the national average. New rules may lead the reorganization of urban area requirements specifically.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.