EB-5 Update: Short Term Extension of Regional Center Program to May 5, 2017


Today, the U.S. Congress passed a one-week stopgap funding bill to prevent a government shutdown and the expiration of the EB-5 Regional Center program. The continuing resolution will keep the U.S. federal government open through May 5, 2017, and USCIS will continue to accept Form I-526 petitions based on investments through EB-5 Regional Centers through that date.

It is unclear with Congress will be able to resolve the three major outstanding issues to reform the EB-5 Program by next week Friday.

  • Increase of minimum investment amount from $500,000 to either $800,000 or $850,000;
  • Defining “Targeted Employment Area” to limit incentives for investments in prime urban areas; and
  • Visa “Set Asides” for investments in rural areas, with incentives for lower investment amounts and faster processing.

However, there does appear to be a consensus developing within the EB-5 industry in light of the proposed regulations that would increase the minimum investment amount to $1,350,000 or $1,800,000.

Nevertheless, it is possible that, in the event a bipartisan final agreement cannot be reached, Congress passes another continuing resolution (possibly even to September 30, 2017). It does appear that, if new EB-5 legislation is enacted in the meantime, there could be some “lead time” involved for the EB-5 industry to prepare itself prior to implementation.

In conclusion, we are hopeful that Congress can pass a new EB-5 reform bill soon to provide the EB-5 industry with certainty and predictability. If these reforms are successful, we hope that Congress recognizes the economic benefit that the EB-5 program and investors bring to the U.S. and increase the number of visas allocated to EB-5 each year.

This post originally appeared on Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group. Copyright © 2017 Wolfsdorf Connect - All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.

About The Author

Bernard Wolfsdorf Bernard Wolfsdorf is the managing partner of the top-rated law firm, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP (www.wolfsdorf.com), and the past national president of the 14,000-member American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Established in 1986, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP is known worldwide for providing exceptional quality legal services. With 19 lawyers and offices in Los Angles and New York, the firm was recently listed as a top-tier immigration practice by Chambers & Partners with several of the firm's attorneys listed in the 2015 International Who's Who Legal. Mr. Wolfsdorf specializes in EB-5 investment immigration in addition to the full range of global immigration matters.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.