EB-5’s TEA Reform Drama
The last six months have seen a lot of drama for the EB-5 Regional Center Program (“the Program”). Starting with the release of S. 1501 in June of last year – one of the first major bills proposing reauthorization and reform of the Program – an avalanche of draft bills, extensions, and revision attempts seems to have bowled over Congress and the EB-5 community. While the final result has been an extension of the Program without any changes until next September 30th, it is clear that reform is on the way.
One of the largest looming changes is the overhaul of Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) – surely in response to well-covered controversy. Some critics have speculated as to whether TEAs allow “gerrymandering,” taking the Program away from “its roots,” and have voiced other concerns. Almost every new bill proposal to reform the Program has included changes to the TEA process, and most approaches have differed considerably. It seems safe to say that the future of TEAs will be drastically different – and likely much more complicated.
Before delving into our predictions of the future of TEAs in EB-5, let’s review the current process.
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