Hours before it was set to expire, the EB-5 Regional Center Program received a temporary continuance with the final passage of the Continuing Resolution that provides funding to the federal government until December 11, 2015. This continuance gives Congress additional time to discuss proposed reforms for the program. The EB-5 Regional Center Program was set to expire on September 30.
In June, Senators Patrick Leahy and Chuck Grassley introduced a bill to extend the EB-5 Regional Center Program, which would impact both Regional Centers and investors. Included in this bill is a proposal to raise the investment amounts for all investors to $800,000 for targeted employment area investments and $1,200,000 for all other investments. The bill also contains provisions for increased oversight of regional centers. Over the next few months, we expect a renewed effort by lawmakers for reauthorization and reform of the EB-5 program.
The EB-5 Regional Center Program was enacted in 1992 to allow foreign investors to pool investments for large economic development projects within a specific geographic region. Prior to the Continuing Resolution, Congress had reauthorized the program six times. Under the EB-5 program, foreign investors may receive a green card if they meet the requirements of the program, including a requirement for the creation of jobs for U.S. workers.