Dec 22, 2017
Holiday Gift? EB-5 Regional Center Program To Be Extended for Four More Weeks (Jan. 19, 2018)
Congress has bestowed a small holiday gift for EB-5 stakeholders as both houses today voted to extend the federal budget until January 19, 2018. The Continuing Resolution (CR) was approved in the Senate by a 66-32 vote and in the House by 231-188. The CR now goes to the President’s desk where it is expected to be signed before Dec. 23rd.
The Senate vote was significantly narrower than the most recent extension passed on December 7, when that CR received 81 votes in favor. As we have discussed before, the Trump Administration’s end to DACA continues to risk a government shutdown as Democrats threaten to withhold needed support to force Republicans to act on behalf of DREAMers. A vote on a DACA-related bill is expected in early 2018, although it is not clear what the contents of such legislation will be.
Since 2015, EB-5 stakeholders have been operating under the assumption that significant changes were soon to be implemented. The first quarter of 2018 will undoubtedly be a pivotal time for EB-5 as a legislative solution to the program’s shortfalls and long-term reauthorization remain elusive. Further complicating matters for the spring is an announcement recently made by the Department of Homeland Security that last year’s proposed regulations are to be published in final form in February 2018. Barring legislative reform, it is almost a near-certainty that the EB-5 minimum investment amounts will be raised significantly and the requirements for the lower threshold ‘Targeted Employment Area’ investments be made more restrictive. Accordingly, the coming weeks -- at most, months – will likely be investors’ final opportunity to immigrate to the U.S. under the program’s current terms.
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