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Should We be Worried About EB-5?


The program’s facing some strain with the annual limit of 10,000 visas awarded to Chinese investors frequently filling up months before the end of the year. One issue that complicates matters is that the limit includes dependents of investors looking to immigrate to the US. But Polsinelli partner Dawn Lurie and Homeier & Law managing partner Clem Turner, (snapped above at Bisnow's recent NYC Capital Markets summit) say don’t panic. Dawn, who along with Clem is part of the EB-5 Alliance, says either through legislative or regulatory action, there’s a good chance that provision can be amended so only the visas awarded to actual investors count against the allotment. Better, Dawn says, would be for the cap to be raised—but she says that’s not likely to happen before the end of September, when EB-5 goes up for renewal before Congress. Clem points out that plenty of visas are available—just not for investors from China, which accounts for the lion’s share of those using the program to get US citizenship. He says whether or not the limit is relaxed for Chinese investors, we can expect the program to gain popularity among folks from a broadening range of countries. He says EB-5’s already picking up steam throughout South America and in Europe and Africa.