Bloggings On EB-5

by EB5Investors Staff

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill by Gang of 8 Details EB-5 Change

On Wednesday, April 17th, 2013, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 was introduced. This marks the long-time work of the Senate members known as the “Gang of 8” to produce an immigration bill. Generally, it is perceived that the bill will better the nation’s economy, benefit national security and increase global competition in the real estate sector.

Jeffrey D. Deboer, Real Estate Roundtable CEO and President, said that the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 will affect hiring practices, property ownership and investment, construction, and residential and commercial development. He also noted that Congress should act promptly in order to ensure pro-growth visa reforms and ensure that the United States is at the front lines of the global race for resources and talent. *One of the largest roadblocks that is standing in the way of growth in the national economy and in the real estate industry is a lack of access to resources and capital, including those that are financial and human. Regardless of where a project is located (abroad or at home), what the country now needs is financial investments and the right people to turn conceptual business plans into projects that will create jobs.

The proposal by the Gang of 8 (including Senators Graham, Rubio, Flake, Schumer, McCain, Bennet, Menendez and Durbin) includes significant changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. These changes include the recapture of unused immigration visas from past fiscal years, making the EB-5 Regional Center program permanent (it was originally introduced as a pilot program in 1992), eliminating the per country quotas for visa numbers (China is predicted to reach the quota in 2014), more immigrant visa numbers specifically for the EB-5 Program and the exemption of spouses and children from the employment-based immigrant visa numbers of principal applicants (which is capped at 10,000 visas).

These provisions to make the program a permanent one will improve U.S. communities and infrastructure by attracting foreign investors. The bill also encourages immigrant entrepreneurs of high-tech start-ups and small-businesses via a new visa platform that emulates similar programs in other countries. (Congress still needs to ensure that the caps on visas for entrepreneurs and immigration investors are satisfactory enough to motivate job creation in U.S. companies and U.S. projects.

Other implications of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill includes streamlining and updating the visa process by means of the JOLT Act in order to attract vacation travelers and international business to the United States. *This will expand and modernize the Visa Waiver Program. The bill also proposes to raise the number of H-1B visas so that STEM students (studying engineering, technology, science and mathematics in the United States) will have more incentive to stay in the country and putting DREAM students (those who enter the country undocumented at a young age) on a faster path to citizenship.

The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 proposes changes that will benefit the EB-5 Program, which in turn will increase job creation and foreign investment in America.

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