Is EB-5 Reform on the Horizon?

Summary

What does the future of EB-5 look like?

June 20, 2016


EB-5 program reform has been on the horizon for a long time now. Proposals were issued in Spring 2015 then republished in both Fall 2015 and Spring 2016. Issued by the Office of Management and Budget, this specific proposal would reform and clarify regulations for direct and regional center investors potentially affecting TEAs, indirect job creation, and minimum investment amount. If enacted, the proposals could bring long-awaited reform to the EB-5 program.

The underlying question in implementing new regulations is the same question plaguing all USCIS program stakeholders these days: “how long will this really take?". Notifying the public of a rule change represents just step one out of six in the process for legally implementing a new rule. There must be significant internal review from different departments, then there must be at least 30 to 180 days reserved for public comment, after which a revised version may be published if necessary. Next, the proposal becomes final after minor changes and a response to the public comments. Finally, the ruling takes effect.

While realistically new regulations could be implemented in as quickly as a year, patience will be essential if this follows a similar path of other regulations. For example, regulation regarding EB-5 petitions (RIN 1615-AA90) first received approval in 1995, but was not finalized until March 2105.

What to expect

As many have predicted, the EB-5 industry is unlikely to see major changes this year due to it being an election year. Nonetheless, significant regulatory changes are still being discussed. The new Visa Integrity and Security act would alter processing operations, while the Immigration for a Competitive America Act of 2016, though not directly mentioning EB-5, could increase employment-based visas by up to 81%.

Source: Suzanne - Lucidtext Blog