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Proposed Legislation Would Expand EB-5 Visa Program

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on October 15, 2015

U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has introduced legislation intended to raise the number of EB-5 green cards available to foreign investors while also making permanent the EB-5 Regional Center Program. The Regional Center Program enables foreign investors to pool their capital and work in coordination with regional economic development agencies on large-scale projects.

Congress created the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program visa in 1990 to attract foreign investment in the United States. The program enables foreign investors to obtain permanent resident status (green card) in exchange for investing at least $1 million in a new commercial enterprise that also creates or preserves jobs. The investment threshold is lowered to $500,000 if the investment is made in certain rural areas or regions with high unemployment, known as Targeted Employment Areas (TEA).

Sen. Paul Rand’s EB-5 Visa Proposed Legislation

On Sept. 30, Congress temporarily extended the EB-5 Regional Center Program through Dec. 11. Rand’s proposal, S. 2122 The Invest In Our Communities Act, would:

  • Make the EB-5 Regional Center Program permanent
  • Expand the number of EB-5 green cards that are issued annually
  • No longer count the spouses and children of EB-5 visas toward the total allotment of EB-5 green cards
  • Add transparency measures
  • Keep the $500,000 minimum investment in Targeted Employment Areas

It’s estimated that there are currently between 13,000 and 15,000 EB-5 petitions pending with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Each one of those pending petitions represents at least $500,000 of investment that could be made in the United States, but is currently in limbo until the petition is granted.

Other EB-5 Green Card Legislation Also Pending

Rand’s proposed legislation is not the only one addressing EB-5 visas. In June, Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) introduce S. 1501 American Job Creation and Investment Promotion Reform Act of 2015. That bill would reauthorize the EB-5 Regional Center Program through Sept. 30, 2020.

Immigration Attorneys for EB-5 Green Card Investors

If you are a foreign citizen who is interested in investing in the United States, contact the Chicago-based immigration lawyers at The Shapiro Law Group at (847) 564-0712 to schedule a free initial consultation. Our attorneys can help determine whether you and your family members are eligible for EB-5 visas and guide you through the petition process.