Great news for the EB-5 community from Capitol Hill today. The Senate with unanimous consent has passed as part of S. 3245 a three year extension of the EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program. S. 3245 also includes the extension of three other pilot programs: the E-Verify Program, the Conrad State 30 Program and the Religious Worker Program. It is expected that the House, which is currently on recess, will also support the passage of a three year extension. However, because the House is not currently in session, no action will be taken earlier than September.
During the eb5investors.com Southern California EB-5 conference which was held on July 30, 2012, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith noted that he is a supporter of the EB-5 program. Chairman Smith noted that he would support and urge the House to adopt either a permanent reauthorization measure or a temporary three year extension of the pilot program. At the conference, California House Republicans Ed Royce and Dana Rohrabacher also publicly stated their support for the program. Both Congressmen recognized that the EB-5 program has the ability to continue to create thousands of jobs for U.S. workers, attract billions of dollars in foreign direct investment each year and encourage successful international entrepreneurs to seek U.S. residency.
While many in the EB-5 community had hoped for the passage of a bill granting a permanent reauthorization of the program, it is unlikely that this will happen. Nonetheless, a three year extension is good news to many EB-5 stakeholders and indications are that the House will support the measure. The EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program is currently set to expire on September 30, 2012.