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EB-5 Investor Visa Program Possibly Faces Remarkable Change

October 2017, 11
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During the past short-term extensions, were given to the EB-5 Investor Visa Program. The future projections regarding it are, that it possibly faces remarkable changes.

This program was meant for creating jobs, and for stimulating national economic development. It was, in fact, an incentive to foreign investors, in commercial ventures, in return for obtaining a Green Card. In order to participate in it, the investors had to make a minimum investment of $1 million, or $500,000 in activities and areas, which showed high levels of unemployment, over the national unemployment average.

The future of this program remains uncertain, and so far the Congress had problems in passing long-term extensions. It just continued to reposition the ending date.

On September 30th, yet again the Congress could not decide about it, and chose to delay the expiration to December 8th. All the experts involved, are not sure what is going to happen to the program, in the future.

Mikki Canton, Managing Director of the Miami EB-5 Regional Center, said that they had been waiting for an outcome, but the cycle of extension, has created a sense of inevitability and exhaustion.

Julián Montero, Partner Miami Office of Arnstein & Lehr, said that the Congress was struggling on this matter, and the only option available, was to defer the decision. Expiration is the least expected scenario, and there would be a short-term extension, again in the future.

A few critics champion the cause of additional transparency, higher investment requirements, and more rules and regulations to monitor it. Ms. Canton also said that it has benefited the developers, boosted the economy and had created jobs. People believe it has got out of control, but a focus on better regulation can revive it. She advocated a case for more integrity measures in legislation, supervision, and diligence. She strongly believed that it would drive economic growth, in areas that were underserved. It would boost to build magnificent structures in the needed areas, and focus on a renaissance.

The Targeted Unemployment Areas are not regulated at the national level, and developers take advantage of the EB-5 investment money. They, in fact, avoid direct investments in impoverished community areas. There was a case for the Congress to fix it.

David North, Fellow Center for Immigration Studies, Washington, says that there is a moral objection to it, as a belief exists that the USA, must not sell visas to already rich developers. It must be ensured that the money received, is used for a public purpose. 80% of immigrants benefitting from the EB-5 visas are Chinese, but the South Florida industry was unique and is largely patronized by Latin Americans. It serves as a model that EB-5 market means progress and is a healthy market.

Miami’s market is unique, in operating the regional center. Miami can designate EB-5 projects in areas like Miami-Dade, Palm Beach counties, and Broward. It takes care, to undertake projects in areas, which hold importance to the city, and meets the needs of the citizens.

The present, projects provide elderly housing, workforce housing, mixed projects and medical buildings. It has a high standard of compliance and transparency.

There is a plan to partially fund the Miami Marine Stadium renovation by using the EB-5 money.  It would be a perfect project, that defines the community, and creates several jobs in restoration and management.

The future EB-5 projects will undertake many hospitality and restaurant related projects, besides Miami Veterans’ Village project, and many new infrastructure programs. It will accommodate people, from all walks of life, when caution and creativity are exercised, for the good of all.

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