Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, which extends the EB-5 Regional Center Program without any legislative change until September 30, 2018. The legislation was signed into law on March 23.
On Page 1759 of the 2232-page bill, the language provides:
SEC. 204. Section 610(b) of the Departments of 21 Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related 22 Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (8 U.S.C. 1153 note) 23 shall be applied by substituting ‘‘September 30, 2018’’ for 24 ‘‘September 30, 2015’’.
Notably, passage of this Act follows over a week of uncertainty as draft legislation was provided to industry groups, fueling great urgency. Among other things, the draft legislation would have raised the minimum investment amount to at least $925,000, drastically limited options for funding EB-5 investments, and prohibited new Form I-526 filings for four months. Despite lamentations by certain lawmakers and industry groups, we are of the opinion that such provisions would have crippled the visa program.
In the coming months USCIS is likely to finalize and implement the draft EB-5 regulations unveiled in January 2017, which were anticipated to be published in February. The minimum investment amount will certainly be raised, although it remains unclear to what amount. It is further unclear as to when new regulatory provisions will become effective.
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