EB-5 Visa expected to thrive under trump
In December 2016, Congress announced that the EB-5 Regional Center Program will be extended until April 28, 2017 during the new presidential administration’s transition into office. Though no changes were made to the program, experts everywhere are predicting that the program will thrive under the Trump administration. Historical facts, stated political positions and Trump’s Bay Street Project benefited by the EB-5 Visa program can be considered in order for one to gain a clearer picture of what the future might be, in hopes that the EB-5 Regional Center Program will be renewed once again (or even made permanent).
As Republicans continue to control both houses of Congress, many Senators are in favor of the program.
Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer: a pro-EB-5 advocate, supported passing the bill as it currently stands and to address the issue of investing projects in low-employment areas.
Senator Jeff Sessions: Supported EB-5 projects in his home state of Alabama.
TRUMP’S TAKE ON EB-5
Since 2005, about $15 billion in American dollars have been raised from foreign nationals under the program.
Trump himself is no stranger to the Immigrant Investor Program.
His own company brand has been licensed to Trump Bay Street, a 50-story luxury apartment, that raised $50 million through the EB-5 program, according to U.S. Immigration Fund, an EB-5 Regional Center.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, The Trump Organization is partnering with Global Management Resources on a $170 million 33-story luxury hotel and condo development in downtown Austin, TX.
The Trump-branded hotel, is seeking $40 million from 80 EB-5 investors, making it the second Trump-branded building that is seeking to use EB-5 funding.
PROMISING PROGRAM REVISIONS
Currently, there are about 125 changes being contemplated to the program.
- Revise requirements for Targeted Employment Area.
- Clarify requirements for EB-5 Regional Center designation and grounds for termination.
- Better define the rules for EB-5 green card termination.
- Increasing the minimum threshold for investment to at least $800,000 from $500,000 for projects located in Targeted Employment Areas and $1.2 million from $1 million.
- Limiting the 10,000 EB-5 visas for certain zones, such as: 2,000 for rural projects, 2,000 for urban development and 2,000 for manufacturing projects.
DEMAND FOR EB-5 VISAS
USCIS endeavors to keep up with the steady increase in EB-5 visas.
As of October 31st, 2016, the conditional green card average processing time was 15.6 months, increasing approximately 6% in a year-over-year comparison.
On average, it takes approximately 25 months for an I-829 Petition to Remove Conditions (on a Green Card) to be adjudicated, or 55%longer to adjudicate than it did back in September 2015. An Application for a Regional Center (i-924 Petition) currently takes approximately 14 months to adjudicate.
It’s important to remember that Trump is a businessman, and regardless of varying opinions, Trump’s family members have used the EB-5 program to fund their own projects. Congress should vote to continue the EB-5 Regional Center Program as it is an important and proven program for generating jobs and attracting capital to the United States without any cost to U.S. tax payers.