On May 17, 2019, EB-5 Industry stakeholder groups, led by the EB-5 Investment Coalition, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The Real Estate Roundtable, IIUSA, Rural Alliance, Real Estate Board of New York, AILA, among others, submitted a joint letter to Senate and House Judiciary Committees leadership in support of principle reforms and reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program, which is set to expire on September 30, 2019.
Proposed reforms include-
- A six-year reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program.
- Enhanced integrity measures to ensure national security and fraud deterrence, such as conducting criminal background checks on individuals involved in regional centers, strengthening the regional center compliance measures, and increasing scrutiny of around immigrant issues involving fraud, misrepresentation or national security concerns.
- Propose new TEA definition. In particular, with respect to the Urban Distressed Area Definition, the letter suggests limiting the TEAs to a single-census tract that is designated by the U.S. Treasury Department as a “Qualified Opportunity Zone” as per the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
- Set aside 30% of the annual visa allotment each year for investors in TEA projects, which is split evenly between Rural and Urban Distressed communities (i.e. 15% of visas for Rural TEAs and 15% visas for Urban TEAs).
- Propose that family members do not count against the annual EB-5 visa cap.
For details on the list of reforms proposed in this letter, please visit here. We will closely monitor the progress of the reforms proposed and will provide updates as they become available.