Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Chuck Grassley of Iowa have introduced legislation to reauthorize the program for five years and make improvements to it.
The minimum investment would be increased to $800,0000 for a targeted employment area, that, at the time of investment, is a rural area or an area experiencing unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average. For non-targeted areas, the minimum investment would be raised from $1 million to $1.2 million.
A new economic impact study, commissioned by Invest In the USA, which advocates for EB-5 reauthorization, demonstrates how significant EB-5 investment is. In fiscal year 2013, the investor visa program contributed $3.58 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product and supported more than 41,000 jobs. Lawmakers should reauthorize the program, making sure EB-5 capital remains a key feature of our region’s economic development tool kit, thus ensuring continuation of substantial benefits to the Western New York economy.
William Gresser is president of the EB-5 New York State Regional Center, which operates out of the Thomas R. Beecher Jr. Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.