Congress passed a short-term extension late yesterday to keep the EB-5 Regional Center Program (the EB-5 Program) from expiring. The Continuing Resolution will extend the EB-5 Program (and fund the U.S. government) through December 11, 2015. The extension will present additional time for the House and Senate time to develop proposed EB-5 program legislation further.

Myriad bipartisan-supported Congressional extension bills were proposed this year in anticipation of the expiration of the last extender bill:

  • In March, Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Mark Amodei (R-NV) introduced H.R. 616, the American Entrepreneurship and Investment Act of 2015, which would make the Regional Center program permanent, while also making reforms and enhancements to the program.
  • In June, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and ranking member Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced S. 1501, the American Job Creation and Investment Promotion Reform Act of 2015. The bill would reauthorize the Regional Center program for five years, while overhauling it with oversight tools, security enhancements, and anti-fraud provisions to make the program more transparent.
  • In July, Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, and Representative Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) introduced H.R. 3370, the Entrepreneurial Business Creating Jobs Act of 2015, to reauthorize the EB-5 Program permanently and introduce reform measures. The legislation would provide visas for foreign entrepreneurs who obtain venture capital or seed financing to start businesses in the United States and provides visas for foreign entrepreneurs in the United States in non-immigrant status operating an existing business and can show that the business is growing.

Since 2008, the EB-5 Program has generated $11.92 billion in foreign direct investment. It contributed $9.62 billion to gross domestic product from 2010-2013 while supporting an average of 29,300 jobs per year, making the EB-5 Program a valuable tool for job creation and economic growth. 

Ballard Spahr’s EB-5 Group wrote an overview of the bipartisan EB-5 Reauthorization Bill which can be found here. The EB-5 Group establishes regional centers, negotiates loans, prepares offering documents, and advises on issues related to the EB-5 program. In addition, the firm’s Real Estate Finance and Capital Markets Group can assist with financing and investment transactions that have an EB-5 component. Ballard Spahr is one of few national law firms in the country with a team dedicated to the program.

To learn more about this proposed legislation, please contact Debbie A. Klis or any other member of the Group with whom you work.

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