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Why is the EB-5 regional center program not set in place permanently?

Why must the regional center program be renewed?

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The regional center program was originally a non-permanent (pilot) program added to the direct EB-5 program. It has been historically extended and we are anticipating changes to the current regional center program soon.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The Regional Center program was part of a "pilot program" when it was originally implemented, with a date of expiration set by Congress. And, every time the program was due to "sunset," Congress has renewed it; however, due to differing interest groups lobbying Congress, no consensus has been met to make the program permanent to date.

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    Michael A Harris, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This is because it was created as a pilot program required to be renewed every few years (or, as in the last two years, every few months!). The "basic ", or Direct EB-5 program, was originally created in 1990 and does not expire. The regional center program was originally named the Regional Center Pilot Program. However, since the program has been renewed every year or so since 1992, a few years ago Congress removed the word "pilot " from the program. We hope the regional center program will be extended for a few years or longer before the end of this year.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This was a decision made by Congress when they passed the regional center amendments to the EB-5 law. I am not aware of any member of Congress who is asking that it be made permanent. Maybe this would be a part of a Comprehensive Immigration Law if one is ever passed.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is a law that requires regional centers to file an annual report. See 8 CFR204.6(m)(6). The purpose of the annual renewal is to demonstrate continued eligibility for the regional center designation. This will require the regional center to show that it continues to promote economic growth along with other information. In the case a regional center fails to file such a report, which is usually done on Form I-924A, it can be terminated from the EB-5 program.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The Regional Center EB-5 program must be renewed periodically because, ever since it was enacted into law in 1992, there has been a "sunset" provision that required Congress to review and renew the program. Congress periodically will enact laws with similar "sunset" provisions. Congress does that when they have some reservation about the nature of the law they are passing and the "sunset" provision forces them to review the law—or, in this case, the EB-5 program, periodically before they reauthorize it. In the past, we have been able to get longer-term extensions but, recently, only short-term extensions given the fact that there is significant support for EB-5 reform legislation and the parties are only willing to agree to short-term extensions in order to put pressure on all parties to come together and enact good EB-5 reform legislation.

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    Debbie Klis

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    The original EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program was created in 1990 by the Immigration Act of 1990 and contemplated only direct investment. The Immigration Investor Pilot Program, which created the concept of regional centers (aka the EB-5 Regional Center Program), was created by the U.S. Congress through Section 610 of Public Law 102-395 two years later, October 6, 1992. Congress created the EB-5 Regional Center Program as a temporary three-year (aka pilot) program to stimulate more interest in the EB-5 Program, which did not have much activity in its first two years. Because of the growing success of the EB-5 Regional Center Program, Congress has continually renewed it. Numerous members of Congress have even proposed the permanent renewal of the EB-5 Regional Center Program. Most recently, on March 27, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced S. 727, the Invest in Our Communities Act, which aims to increase worldwide levels of employment-based immigrants and proposes permanent reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center program.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Originally, the regional center program was a pilot program initiated in 1993 because the direct EB-5 program was not popular. The EB-5 program is permanent, it is just that the RC program allows for reduced investment amounts in high unemployment and rural areas. Very few have invested $1 million when they can get a green card with $500,000 via the RC program. For this reason, the RC program has been both popular and controversial as the rules for qualifying for the reduced amount have been fairly liberal.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Congress initially enacted the regional center program in the early 1990s to be a pilot (temporary) program that was added to the original EB-5 law, which is permanent and does not expire. Perhaps for political reasons or simple laziness, Congress seems to prefer reauthorizing the regional center portion of EB-5, which it has done many times over the years, and it has chosen not to make the regional center program permanent.

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    Matthew T Galati

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The program was not enacted as part of the last major revision to the Immigration and Nationality Act (The Immigration Act of 1990) but in separate legislation thereafter. Pilot programs are common in immigration law, even though they have been in existence for a very long time. Popular programs such as E-Verify, Conrad 30 doctor waivers, and Religious Worker visas are also subject to periodic renewal. Congress had the opportunity to make the Regional Center program permanent with comprehensive immigration reform in 2013, but the law did not pass. It remains to be seen whether the program will continue in short-term extensions.

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