Congress extended the EB-5 program until April 28, marking another short-term renovation of the controversial visa program.
The program, which grants foreign investors the Residence, after investing at least $ 500,000 in companies that produce employment, was due to expire on Friday. EB-5 was included in the resolution that continued the last congress.
Ronnie Fieldstone, a lawyer for Arnstein and Lehr who represents the EB-5 regional centers and developers, said the extension will give more time for a new law to be passed. Fieldstone and others hope that President-elect Donald Trump will support the program – his stance could have a big impact on the business of his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Kushner companies used the EB-5 funds for their Trump Bay Street Tower in Jersey City.
“No one can argue that we are creating jobs in the United States, bringing rich and talented people to create jobs,” Fieldstone told The Real Deal.
At a panel hosted by TRD in Shanghai last month, proponents of the visa program said they are likely to thrive under Trump. “His firm stand is against illegal immigration,” said former New York Gov. George Pataki. “And EB-5 is a legal immigration program. It understands the need for capital, the need for investment.”
A new bill would likely increase the minimum investment requirement from $ 500,000 to $ 800,000 in areas of high unemployment and from $ 1 million to $ 1.2 million in low unemployment areas. The minimum investment has not changed since 1992. New legislation could also redefine specific areas of employment, or TEAs. Critics say the current structure of the program disproportionately benefits rich areas.
Fuente/The Real Deal