Last week, on December 8th, Congress again extended the EB-5 Program date for the short term until April 28th, 2017.
An extension for the EB-5 Program date for the short term will allow future President Trump to make changes, keep it the same, or even make the program permanent.
Many EB-5 industry insiders believe that President-elect Donald Trump strongly supports the EB-5 Program since his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has used the program to garner investment capital for the development of his New Jersey based Trump tower apartment building.
The EB-5 Program gives wealthy foreign investors a green card, and ultimately citizenship, in exchange for investing a minimum of $500,000 (or in some cases $1,000,000) in U.S. based projects and businesses that would create jobs for qualified U.S. workers.
Critics have complained that the current program requirements are not strict enough. They state that it allows investors to receive all the benefits of investing in targeted employment areas or areas of high unemployment without actually investing in these areas. Instead, they their investments go to wealthier cities such as New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles.
As a result, when EB-5 legislation is up for renewal again in April, many believe that not only will the minimum investment amount increase, from $500,000 to $800,000 for investments in TEAs, and $1,000,000 to $1,200,000 in areas of lower unemployment, but that a new bill will also redefine TEAs. Redefining TEAs would prevent wealthy cities from receiving the same benefits TEAs receive.
Additionally, we may also see an increase in the visa cap. Currently, there are 10,000 visas available for EB-5 foreign investors each year, but this number includes the visas their spouses and children would receive as well. Under President-elect Donald Trump's administration, we may see an increase in the amount of visas available. If the 10,000 visas were to only include investors and not family, we may see closer to 25,000 visas available.
Although many view the EB-5 Program with uncertainty, it seems likely that there will be significant expansion in the future.
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