The Immigrant Investor Program, more commonly referred to as the EB-5 program, gives foreign entrepreneurs the opportunity to permanently reside and work in the United States after investing capital into an American commercial enterprise creating a sufficient number of full-time jobs.
In recent years, the number of EB-5 visa applications filed has surged. A large number of these applications relied on the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, which is the part of the EB-5 program that provides for regional centers to facilitate larger capital raises. While legislators and stakeholders recognized that program reforms were needed, no consensus could be reached before the program was set to expire on September 30, 2015. Consequently, the U.S. Congress passed in December 2015 a short-term extension of the program to September 30, 2016. Looking ahead, the likely areas of reform may be gleaned from two of the proposed reform bills that were not passed, and from homeland security concerns. Developers, investors and other stakeholders should also be aware of stepped-up Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement activity.
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