The EB-5 Visa Regional Center Program for Investors was established in 1992 as a temporary program. Since that time the Congress has been renewing the program. On September 30, 2015, the program was once again up for renewal in Congress. However, this time, a lot of debate broke out about implementing changes to the program before another renewal. Here are 7 Recommendations Congress and USCIS should consider in reforming the EB-5 Visa Program:
1. Concurrent filing of I-526 petition and I-485 application for permanent conditional residency.
2. Expedite process for I-526 petition.
3. Expedite process within 30 days of I-924 application for Regional Center designation and/or pre-approval of projects and/or geography and industrial classification.
The above recommendations would allow predictability and efficient and effective planning by the EB-5 Regional Centers, the EB-5 Projects, and the EB-5 Investors.
4. A reasonable analysis for the TEA designation that would still allow TEA determination for urban areas. As a result, urban EB-5 projects can continue to exist not only for the current projects but also for subsequent phases. This will also satisfy the foreign national investor desire of investing in urban areas.
5. The maximum investment for a TEA should be no more than $800,000 and non-TEA or rural should be limited to $1,000,000. This should be initiated without delay so there would be predictability and clarity for the investors.
6. Based upon a special filing with USCIS for the pre-approval within 30 days for an actual EB-5 project, subsequent I-526 petitions would only need to include the authentication of the investor source of funds for approval.
7. Mandatory to have a third-party fund administration of the investment funds that are being used in the EB-5 projects to show the investor that there is compliance with the business plan and the required job will be created. This requirement will ensure there is transparency and clarity for every investor.
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