EB-5 Program To Be Extended Another Week As Reform Negotiations Continue
On Friday the House and Senate are set to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government operating for one more week. Caught up in the debate is the EB-5 visa program, which will see continued negotiation through May 5. The widely disputed program grants green cards to foreigners who invest a minimum of $500K in U.S. developments in targeted employment areas.
Though many have talked about reforming the program, few have come up with actionable solutions. According to Chicago-based Arnstein & Lehr EB-5 attorney Ronnie Fieldstone, the program will likely be reauthorized without major reforms this time around, as Congress works to solve bigger problems, like avoiding a total government shutdown.
That does not mean the debate is over. Congress will seek to pass a revamped EB-5 bill before the program sunsets on Sept. 30, according to Fieldstone. Experts do not expect to the program to be killed off, especially since it created more than 35,000 jobs in 2015 alone. Despite the economic boost, critics argue the program opens the door to rampant fraud.
Proposed reforms to the programs focus on raising the investment cap, which currently sits at $500K. The criteria for investment in "targeted employment areas" is also under review.
Whatever happens, the EB-5 program will live to see another week.