In recent feedback on potential reforms, the U.S. government got an earful against a proposal to raise the minimum contributions for the EB-5 immigrant investor program along with suggestions on ways to improve the program's regional center aspect.
The comments, due by April 11, were submitted for a pair of notices aimed at updating key portions of the EB-5 visa program, notices that were rolled out roughly a week before former President Barack Obama left office. The potential changes represent yet another variable in the evolving EB-5 landscape as its regional center program, which helps investors pool funds for specific projects, is set to expire on April 28 unless Congress acts to renew it.
One notice — a proposed rule that tackles several hot-button EB-5 issues, including raising the investment amounts — received the lion’s share of the feedback with 848 comments. It also attracted pushback from immigration attorneys and regional centers, with some commenters arguing that increasing the minimum investment amount could chill demand for the program.
The EB-5 program provides green cards to foreign residents who invest $1 million or more in a U.S. business and create at least 10 full-time jobs. The investment amount can be reduced to $500,000 for “targeted” rural or high-unemployment areas, as long as the job creation requirement is fulfilled.
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