Friday, June 5, 2015

EB-5 Program Extension Bill Introduced with 60% Minimum Investment Increase to $800,000

By Bernard Wolfsdorf, Esq
    1. The American Job Creation and Investment Promotion Reform Act of 2015 has been introduced to extend the Regional Center program until September 30, 2020.
    2. The bill’s co-sponsors, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), have proposed increasing the minimum investment in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) to $800,000 and $1,200,000 for non-TEA investments. The amount will adjust every five years based on the Consumer Price Index. It appears this increased investment amount will apply immediately upon enactment unless the project has a pending or approved exemplar as of the date of enactment.
    3. Projects are advised to file their exemplar applications immediately or their investors are likely to be subjected to the increased amount. Exemplars will also be required for all projects.
    4. Processing times are to be drastically reduced to 4 months for exemplars, and even faster with a premium processing fee; 5 months average for initial I-526 petitions; and 6 months average for I-829 applications for removal of conditional permanent resident status. Most importantly, combined processing will be allowed for all nationalities with current priority dates. Presently, this would allow all nationalities except Chinese to file both I-526 and I-485 applications concurrently and obtain work and travel permits within 90 days. Filing fees may be adjusted.
    5. Source of funds reports must now include the administrative fee and 7 years of tax returns. Gifts must be from a spouse, parent, child, sibling, or grandparent. Loans may only be collateralized based on the investor’s own assets and must be issued by reputable banks.
The bill radically changes the program and provides for extensive oversight of regional centers, as well as changing the rules on job creation and the calculation of Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) that can now be approved for two years and renewed in two-year increments. Principals in new commercial enterprises (NCEs) and Regional Centers must be permanent residents or U.S. nationals.

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