News reports at the beginning of May indicate that, as part of Congress’ pending budget agreement through September 30, 2017, the EB-5 program is being extended through that date without change. However, changes continue to be debated.
As reported in our February 2017 issue, a draft bill by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would increase the minimum investment from $500,000 to $1.35 million for projects in areas with high unemployment and from $1 million to $1.8 million for projects in areas with average or low unemployment. In addition, to qualify for the low-unemployment limit, a project would have to be located in a census tract or contiguous census tracts with a weighted average of 150 percent of the national unemployment average.
Certain Senators have called for the program to be repealed, but the Trump administration has been focused on creating U.S. jobs. To quote a recent report by the U.S. Department of Commerce – covering just fiscal 2012 and 2013 – "more than 11,000 immigrant investors provided $5.8 billion in capital, roughly 35 percent of the total investment ($16.7 billion), for 562 EB-5 related projects that ….were expected to create an estimated 174,039 jobs."
The U.S. is not the only country offering investors visa status in return for significant investments. However, several professionals involved in EB-5 financings have indicated that proposed changes such as those USCIS has proposed would not deter foreign investors looking to migrate to the U.S., which offers a strong capitalist democracy with good higher education programs for investors’ families.
This report provided by John Forry, Managing Director, CBIZ MHM Los Angeles. John will continue to report on EB-5 developments in future issues. Should you have questions or comments, please contact your local CBIZ MHM professional
Should you have questions or comments, call or email John Forry at 646.345.0586 or contact your local CBIZ MHM professional..