With the EB-5 regional center program set to expire on June 30, 2021, many interested investors are concerned with what will happen to the program if the U.S. Congress cannot reach an extension agreement. As such, there is a move to file any regional center petitions by June 30th. The EB-5 program, also known as the Million Dollar Green Card, allows investors to obtain a green card if they invest either $900,000 or $1,800,000 in business or projects that will create 10 full time jobs. To learn more about the EB-5 program, please click here. To learn more about regional centers, please click here. The EB-5 program is up for extension and renewal each year when Congress joins to pass the spending bill for the fiscal year.
Since 2018 when the regional center program expired for the first time, the program has been under a lot of scrutiny. In August 2019, USCIS published EB-5 reform regulations that increased the minimum investment amount from $500,000 to $900,000 for Targeted Employment Areas and from $1 million to $1.8 million for non-TEA areas. For more information on the EB-5 changes, please click here. Former president Trump had also asked Congress to eliminate the program, although this change did not manifest.
However, despite the objections, the program has been renewed in the past when it has come close to expiration. That being said, many are filing petitions prior to June 30th so that they can ensure they can participate in the program. The EB-5 program has created billions of dollars in investment and the creation of hundreds of thousand of jobs for Americans, at no cost to American taxpayers. So even though the program may expire if Congress cannot pass a spending bill before June 30, 2021, it is possible that either a short term spending bill is passed to extend the program by a couple of weeks or months, or the program will be temporarily put on hold until the spending bill is passed. After the bill is passed, interested investors will be able to submit their application again. The safest route though is to complete any transaction prior to June 30th so that it is filed prior to the expiration date.
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