The EB-5 program has been temporarily extended until September 30th, 2017. The extension came as part of a $1.1 trillion government funding bill that President Trump signed on May 4th. There have been several temporary extensions of the EB-5 program over the last few years. In each case, the government decided to simply extend the deadline, putting off decisions about the future of the program and how it should be reformed.
Fortunately, it appears that Congress will indeed sign an EB-5 reform bill in the next few months. This will provide much needed clarity and security for EB-5 applicants. Several different reform proposals have been made by US Senators. In general, these different proposals all aim to protect EB-5 investors from fraud, and to adjust the investment amount. Many EB-5 experts believe that the most likely outcome is an increased investment amount of $800,000 (rather than $500,000) for Regional Center investment.
Another aim of EB-5 reform is to address the long wait times that Chinese investors face in the application process. Currently, it often takes 3 years or more for Chinese investors to have their initial Green Card application processed. This long wait time is due to the current structure of the EB-5 program and the large number of EB-5 applicants from China. The EB-5 reform proposals offer different solutions for this problem, but the good news is that the various proposals recognize that the long wait time for Chinese investor is an important and solvable problem.
To summarize, there is good reason for optimism. It is likely that Congress will soon pass an EB-5 reform bill that will provide much needed clarity after a period of uncertainty. The EB-5 reform bill will likely represent a sensible approach to addressing fraud and long wait times, while increasing investment amounts to a degree that will not discourage the majority of investors from pursuing the extraordinary opportunities EB-5 offers.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. You could also reach us by phone: 415-221-2345. We look forward to hearing from you!