On June 27, 2013 the Senate successfully passed S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.” Read the AILA/AIC section-by-section summary of the bill that was passed in the Senate. At this point, as explained in more detail in this Washington Post blog post, nobody really knows what the House is going to do, if anything.
With all the horse-trading that goes on until the very end, I don’t spend a lot of time following the various permutations of the bill. (If you are interested in a daily play-by-play of what is going on, AILA has a great blog with nearly daily updates.) That said, I think this is a good juncture to review what changes to the EB-5 program have made it through the Senate – although, again, the final bill (if there ever is one) will definitely look different from this.
1. Beginning January 1, 2016, and every 5 years after that, the EB-5 minimum investment amounts will be adjusted for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U). (Calculations done by other people which I have not independently verified place the minimum investment amount for TEAs which is currently $500,000 to go up to $875,000. Considering the current $500,000/$1,000,000 numbers were pegged in the early 90s, not too shocking.
2. The Regional Center program will become a permanent program.
3. EB-5 business plans can be pre-approved and projects with pre-approved business plans will get expedited processing. (In other words, the current exemplar I-526 process will be baked into the law in the hopes of the USCIS actually sticking to the plan.)
4. New financial statement disclosure requirements for Regional Centers and real penalties for those who don’t comply.
5. Regional Center people will be subject to criminal and civil background checks including fingerprinting by the FBI.
6. Securities law compliance must be certified by a Regional Center representative.