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Senator Patrick Leahy introduced Bipartisan Bill asking for EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program permanent
By Renata Castro
May 30, 2012
On Thursday, May 24 2012, Senator Patrick Leahy (D. Vt.) has introduced legislation asking to have the EB-5 Pilot Program become permanent. The bill was introduced with bipartisan support coming from Senator Chuck Grassley (R. IA.).
Senator Leahy credited the EB-5 Pilot Program with the creation of jobs and economic growth, and went on to say that he was “grateful that Senator Grassley has worked with me to craft this legislation, and I am optimistic its introduction marks the beginning of a strong bipartisan effort to make these long-standing programs permanent. When enacted, the measure we introduce today will also pave the way for my efforts to improve and build upon the EB-5 Regional Center Program to ensure stability for investors and entrepreneurs, and to ensure that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has the tools it needs to keep this program a strong, secure, and vital part of our economy.”
Senator Leahy has been an advocate of the EB-5 program, effectively seeking extensions of the program through Congress, with its latest extension due to sunset on September 30, 2012.
Demand for the EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program has never been higher. There are currently over 220 approved Regional Centers approved across the country, and countless more pending review by USCIS. The EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program is also credited with attracting more than a billion dollars in foreign investment to the United States, and it is estimated that job creation data is in the thousands.
The Regional Center (Pilot) Program
The Immigrant Investor Pilot Program (“Pilot Program”) was created by Section 610 of Public Law 102-395 (October 6, 1992). This is different in certain ways from the basic EB-5 investor program. The Pilot Program began in accordance with a Congressional mandate aimed at stimulating economic activity and creating jobs for U.S. workers, while simultaneously affording eligible aliens the opportunity to become lawful permanent residents. Through this innovative program, foreign investors are encouraged to invest funds in an economic unit known as a “Regional Center.”
A Regional Center is defined as any economic unit, public or private, engaged in the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation and increased domestic capital investment that has been designated and approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”).
Basic requirements of investment through the Pilot Program:
- Capital investment of $500,000; (if located in a designated “TEA” or “RA” area)
- Must be able to document the lawful source of the investment funds;
- Must be able to pass an extensive background check and physical examination;
- Must create either directly or indirectly, a minimum of 10 jobs;
- Must satisfy all USCIS conditions upon completion of the project;
The requirements for an investor under the Pilot Program are essentially the same as in the basic EB-5 investor program except the Pilot Program allows for a less restrictive requirement for “indirect” rather than “direct” job creation. Most USCIS approved Regional Centers are also located in what is called a “Targeted Employment Area” (“TEA”) or a “Rural Area” (RA) in which the required investment is just $500,000 as opposed to the $1 million investment required by other basic EB-5 investor programs.
EB-5 Investor Visa Application Services
Exclusive Visas thoroughly researches all Regional Center projects in the United States, and endorses only those projects that meet our rigorous standards. When you hire Exclusive Visas, we hold your hand from the moment you begin considering which Regional Center program to invest in, until the day you receive your permanent green card. You will be assigned a personal concierge to liaise between your Immigration Attorney, and the Regional Center throughout the entire process.
Exclusive Visas will:
- Keep you continuously informed about your EB-5 investment
- Verify that the Regional Center operates in accordance to its offering documents
- Provide you with a comprehensive due diligence report on the Regional Center that you are investing inwhich covers 100 areas of concern
- Coordinating with your Immigration Attorney to verify that the I-526 petition, adjustment of status,and I-829 petition are timely filed.
- Make certain that the Regional Center is in compliance with all USCIS audits includingconstruction and job creation.
- Confirm that the Regional Center is properly compensating you in accordance with the limited partnership or similar agreement applicable to the Regional Center project.
Contact us today to discuss your options.