Early this morning, Congress passed and the President signed a short-term spending package that includes a clean extension of EB-5 until March 23, 2018. This marks the fifth time this fiscal year that Congress has “kicked the can down the road” with an appropriations package to which programs such as EB-5 can be attached. It is important to note that this short-term extension is within the same piece of legislation, though separate from, the two-year defense spending package.
We believe that this new deadline on March 23rd will be the first time since December of 2015 that EB-5 reform could realistically have a legislative vehicle for reform and a long-term reauthorization. This gives Congress and the EB-5 industry six more weeks to come to a consensus on EB-5 negotiations.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues towards reform via the regulatory process. This comprehensive funding package may be the last opportunity for Congress to reform and reauthorize the Regional Center Program before regulatory reform is moved forward (which does not include long-term reauthorization of the Program itself).
Accordingly, IIUSA continues to push for the release of draft legislative text by negotiators while ensuring the EB-5 industry is ready to offer feedback quickly so a workable reform package can be ready for inclusion in “must pass” appropriations legislation. Looking forward, IIUSA also continues to ensure that EB-5 is given appropriate consideration in the broader immigration debate when it comes to annual visa allocation.
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