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Revisiting Key Concepts from the 2015 EB-5 Reform Effort

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Revisiting Key Concepts from the 2015 EB-5 Reform Effort
Since the last long term reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program in 2012, the industry has experienced significant changes.
 
IIUSA Advocacy Coordinator, Nicole Merlene, believes that a combination of Program growth (an increase of 1,200% since the financial crisis of 2008), EB-5 becoming an increasingly mainstream source of financing for economic development projects throughout the nation, the annual cap on visa numbers, and increased media scrutiny have impacted the decision for a reform to the Program. 
 
Investment Amounts
 
The most recent reform draft maintained the minimum investment for non-TEA investments at $1 million and raised TEA level from $500,000 to $800,000. Based on Consumer Price Index, or CPI, those amounts are adjusted every five fiscal years.
 
Targeted Employment Areas
 
For a project to qualify in a TEA, at least one of the following qualifications must be met. Those include:
 
Priority Urban Investment Area
Rural Area
Rural Poverty Area
Special Investment Zone
Closed Military Base
Infrastructure of Manufacturing project
 
Visa Set Asides
 
"Set asides" here refer to the visas set aside for a period of time for investors (within qualifying projects) in the event that all of the visas set aside for specific investments were not used within a year. This concept presented a new way of incentivizing investments. Priority Urban Areas, Rural Areas, and non-TEA investments would each designate 2,000 visas.
 
The reform also examines issues surrounding job creation methodologies, investor and Regional Center fees, effective dates, national security/anti-fraud/compliance provisions, and more.
 
To get involved with EB-5 advocacy efforts, click here. To sign the EB-5 public letter of support to Members of Congress, click here.