What to Expect for the EB-5 Regional Center Program as September 30, 2016 Approaches - EB5Investors.com

What to Expect for the EB-5 Regional Center Program as September 30, 2016 Approaches

Kristen W Ng

This time last year, the EB-5 Regional Center Program was facing a September 30, 2015 sunset date. The program was temporarily extended through December 2015, then given a one-year extension until September 30, 2016. No changes were made to the program, and we are currently facing a similar situation with the nearing sunset date. 

Given the upcoming September 30 sunset date, the EB-5 community is again concerned about what might or might not happen after that date. As there have been two additional bills introduced in the second half of the 114th Congress (S.2415 and H.R. 4530), making a total of seven EB-5 bills introduced in the 114th Congress, the uncertainty surrounding reform and the program remains. 

For investors who are concerned about this uncertainty and the possibility of change, some attorneys recommend submitting the I-526 petition prior to September 30. There are a number of reasons to do so from the investor’s point of view:

  1. The minimum investment amount may increase. The current investment amounts are $500,000 in a rural or Targeted Employment Area (“TEA”), or $1,000,000 in any other area. The minimum investment amounts have not changed since the inception of the program, and it is very likely that it will increase.
  2. Job creation methodologies may change, and this will affect the number of jobs allocated per investor as it may become more restrictive.
  3. The requirements documenting source of funds may change as well, and this may become a larger burden to investors. 

In addition, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson confirmed in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee during an oversight hearing on June 30 that DHS will publish interim regulations for notice and comment in November regarding the EB-5 program. The issues to be raised may involve the minimum investment amount, TEAs, and job creation methodologies.

Based on the uncertainty surrounding the sunset date and the possibility of published regulations by DHS, investors should speak with their attorneys about filing their petitions prior to September 30. This will help guarantee that their petitions will be adjudicated per the current rules.  

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