The Los Angeles Times rehashes the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program in today’s article.
Of note is the reference at the end of the article which indicates that there will be increases in the minimum investment amounts in the EB-5 program. The figures they cite may not be accurate – they may actually be higher when fully implemented. But the investment threshold will increase.
First things first, the EB-5 Regional Center program has been extended until September 30, 2017 as part of a larger federal budget extension. And as we’ve pointed out previously (but bears repeating), the extension affects the Regional Center program. The “regular” EB-5 program involving individuals who invest does _not_ need to be extended like the Regional Center program (which started as a “Pilot Program” and never escaped that designation). However, portions of the regular/direct EB-5 program will be affected by provisions that overlap with the Regional Center program – see this (link to previous article about EB-5 changes that impending).
Secondly, the EB-5 program has gotten its biggest boost in publicity due to President Trump’s in-laws (the Kushners) being linked to an EB-5 Regional Center that was pitching mainland Chinese investors. There has been a title wave of articles on this subject and the EB-5. The previous stories of fraud and criminality in previous EB-5 Regional Center projects has not garnered this much publicity. The tie in to Trump and his family is fueling this and rightfully so.
See the articles below.
Jared Kushner’s sister puts EB-5 visas back in the spotlight.
Kushner Family Stands to Gain From Visa Rules in Trump’s First Major Law
The biggest issue is that the promoters of the program essentially made a direct link between one of the Kushners to Donald Trump. It was a blunt *wink**wink* to the potential customers that this project is guaranteed to do well – because it is expressly _forbidden_ to make guarantees of any sort on an EB-5 project. The funds have to be “at risk” in the target business.
We are not big fans of the Regional Center program – while useful and a boost to the US economy when used correctly, the amassing of such capital can create numerous opportunities for abuse. We prefer clients go the direct route of the EB-5 visa – where one invests into a business and oversees it to create the 10 direct jobs. However, we understand that with certain investors, they would prefer a more hands off vehicle – which is where the Regional Centers are handy.
The entire affair will inject more urgency to the reform/abolish debate to the EB-5 program as it the sunset date for the temporary extension nears in September of this year.
However, portions of the regular/direct EB-5 program will be affected by provisions that overlap with the Regional Center program – see this