EB-5 Hearing Recap
On June 19, 2018, The United States Senate Judiciary Committee held an open hearing relating to the EB-5 Program. The hearing was presided over by Chairman and Senator, Charles Grassley. The Chairman addressed the need for programmatic reform and questioned the Honorable Lee Francis Cissna on his plans for transformation.
The majority of this discussion surrounded the need to "Modernize" and return the EB-5 program to its original purposes Congress laid out in 1990. Mr. Cissna shared progress on the regulations currently under review by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). He specifically addressed the proposed regulations, announced in January of 2017 which included a proposal to increase the minimum investment, stating, "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working to update its regulations governing the employment-based fifth preference (EB-5) program, especially the regional center component, in order to better reflect congressional intent and to codify existing policies.” In response to a question by Senator Grassley, Cissna also forecasted that new regulations would not be implemented before the September 30, 2018, EB-5 program sunset. Read the full testimony here.
Congress called upon USCIS to finalize these regulations as soon as possible. This warning to USCIS signals to investors that regulations are forthcoming and that waiting for an application could result in petitioning under new regulations requiring a higher minimum investment amount ($1.35MM).
FirstPathway Partners supports the active discussions taking place, as well as the need for integrity reform within the EB-5 program.