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June 19 2015

The Surge Has Begun


With news that the EB-5 investment amount in a TEA will increase to $800,000 and elsewhere to $1,200,000, many investors are now wanting to file I-526 applications with the current $500,000 minimum investment amount.

Similarly, regional centers are moving forward with exemplar applications for their projects to lock in the $500,000 minimum investment amount and current TEA designation.


A Congressional Staff member called me last week to discuss H.R. 616, Congressman Jared Polis’ RC extension bill called the “American Entrepreneurship and Investment Act of 2015” (aka the “Polis Bill”). It is much less restrictive than the Leahy/Grassley proposed Senate Bill.

H.R. 616 would, if enacted in its present form:

● Make the EB-5 immigrant investor program permanent.

● Increase the Targeted Employment Area set-aside.

● Direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to defer to state Targeted Employment Area designations.

● Direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to: (1) establish a preapproval procedure for commercial enterprises that allows a regional center to apply for preapproval of a new commercial enterprise before an alien files a petition for classification by reason of investment in such enterprise; and (2) defer to certain prior favorable EB-5 determinations except in the case of fraud, material change, or legal deficiency.

● Prohibit a person who has been found liable for specified criminal or civil activities from serving as an owner, director, or officer of a regional center.

● Require EB-5 petitions to be adjudicated within 180 days unless additional information is required.

● Provide that the child of an alien investor whose conditional permanent resident status is terminated shall continue to be considered a child of the alien investor for purposes of a subsequent immigrant petition by the alien investor if the child remains unmarried and the alien investor’s subsequent petition is filed within one year after termination of status.

● Provide for a consolidated petition by an alien investor and his or her spouse and children.

● Exempt spouses and children of EB-5 immigrants from EB-5 admissions limits. (This will save visa numbers and eliminate the China retrogression.)

● Authorize concurrent filing of EB-5 petitions and applications for status adjustment to conditional lawful permanent resident.

● Eliminate the per-country limit for employment-based immigrants and increase the per-country limit for family-based immigrants.

● Amend the Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992 to eliminate the requirement that the annual Chinese immigrant visas be reduced by a specified amount to offset status adjustments under that Act.

● Subject EB-5 petitions to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.


This week I gave a speech to the California League of Cities about the EB-5 program. There were many mayors, council members, and economic development staff in attendance. They were very interested in the EB-5 program.