With the April 28 deadline for the EB-5 immigrant visa program rapidly approaching, developers and foreign nationals are rushing to apply. The future of the program is reportedly uncertain as congress prepares to take up budget negotiations that could result in law makers either sharply raising the minimum contribution or letting the program expire all together after the latest temporary extension comes to an end.
The EB-5 visa program offers permanent U.S. residency to foreign nationals who are investing in specific job-creating businesses and projects. The program was created in the early 1990’s as a way to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment and has played a large part in the revitalization of many property developments that otherwise wouldn’t have been granted funding.
The latest legislation to extend the EB-5 regional center program was approved by Congress last December but since then, there are have been several proposals to put a halt to or revive the program. Specifically, in late January, California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley noted instances of fraud and abuse in relation to the program while introduced a bill to terminate the EB-5 program all together, creating a great deal of push and pull on the fate of the popular program.
Because nobody knows what the future holds for the EB-5 immigrant visa program or what the new rules will look like after April 28, there has been a significant surge in applications among foreign nationals hoping to get their foot in the door before the extension expires. While the program has it’s fair share of supporters, there are also many opposed to it as well. Long time advocate for the EB-5 program, Sen. Rand Paul reportedly introduced a bill to “increase the worldwide level of employment-based immigrants and to reauthorize the EB-5 regional center program” before it’s extension expiration and while the bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, it has not yet been scheduled for a hearing as of Wednesday.