Report from the Hill
On July 25th the House Appropriations Committee passed the fiscal year 2019 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill that included an amendment from Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) that proposes to eliminate per country caps for all employment-based immigrant visa categories, including EB-5.
According to sources on both the House Appropriations Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee, the chances of the Homeland Security funding bill, which includes the Yoder amendment, of passing before the new fiscal year is very low. IIUSA will continue to explain the implications of these provisions to legislators in the House and Senate until both chambers are likely to vote on the bill after the midterm elections and before the 116th Congress commences in January.
IIUSA is producing an educational white paper on the EB-5 visa queue and the impact of the elimination of per country caps. Grounded by the best available data sources (such as I-526 statistics by country of birth, derivative visa applicant multipliers, and more), the white paper will provide a quantitative analysis on the EB-5 visa backlog and inform the policy discussion on this important issue. Stay tuned.
In addition to continued action on the Yoder amendment, IIUSA’s team in D.C. will continue to advocate for language that would eliminate the counting of dependents towards the annual visa limits of the EB-5 category. With the current retrogression for Mainland China EB-5 petitioners, and other countries potentially facing waiting lines in the near future, this is one of the highest priorities for our organization and membership.
Support of Lawsuit Seeking EB-5 Visa Relief to Help Aged Out Children and Foster U.S. Job Creation
On July 25, 2018 a lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by American Lending Center (an EB-5 regional center and a member of IIUSA) and EB-5 investors whose children have fallen victim to “aging out.” The lawsuit seeks relief for their children who may not receive a U.S. visa due to the method that the Department of State (“DOS”) uses to count visas. The lawsuit was filed by Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzeli and Pratt, P.A., a Florida law firm. The firm is an IIUSA member with extensive experience in civil litigation and immigration law.
Instead of counting an entire family as one visa, DOS uses a visa for each person in the family. As a result, the number of visas available for investors is approximately one-third of the 10,000 visas a year that are allocated for EB-5 investors. Due to this, there is an extreme backlog, leaving investors and their families with an estimated 15 year wait to receive their EB-5 visa.
IIUSA President, Robert Kraft, said of the lawsuit:
“We support the efforts of many groups and individuals who are working to provide relief to the crushing retrogression period which is harming innocent investors and the EB-5 industry as a whole. There are numerous short and long-term solutions to return the EB-5 program to the original legislative intent and thereby provide visa relief to families currently mired in the visa backlog. IIUSA strongly supports those efforts.”… Read the IIUSA Press Release
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