Immigrant Investor Legislation Introduced

By Ashley Gunn

In June, legislation was introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that would reauthorize and reform the 20-year old Immigrant Investor Program known as “EB-5,” which will expire on September 30, 2015. As background, the program provides visas for foreign nationals who meet criteria for investing a minimum amount of capital in the U.S. economy and create a set number of jobs. The EB-5 is primarily used to boost job creation, economic development and investment in areas that are blighted, rural or suffer from high employment. Developers use this program as a way to secure additional funding for projects.

The minimum investment amount to qualify for the program and obtain the desired visa is $500,000 in a “targeted employment area” (TEA) and $1 million for projects in a non-TEA. The proposed legislation redefines the criteria to qualify as a TEA, which would have significant impact on a developer’s ability to access EB-5 money and would raise the minimum investment to $800,000 for TEA projects and $1.2 million for non-TEA projects. Most believe that raising the investment amount will not likely affect the program’s feasibility. Please click here to view an article with more information.