DALLAS, TX – November 13, 2019 – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC, Chairman, Senate Committee on the Judiciary), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Mike Rounds (R-SD) recently introduced S.2778, the Immigrant Investor Program Reform Act of 2019. The measure will finally provide a long-term reauthorization for the EB-5 Regional Center Program as well as long-overdue program integrity reforms and operational updates, including job creation for the middle class, economic development for communities across the country, and protection for immigrant investors.
“On behalf of Civitas, we express our gratitude to Chairman Graham, Senator Cornyn, and Senator Rounds,” said Daniel J. Healy, CEO of Civitas Capital Group.
Healy, who sits on the board of directors of EB-5 industry advocacy group Invest In the USA (IIUSA.org), said the legislators’ introduction of S.2778 and continued leadership of EB-5 reform efforts is greatly appreciated. “Civitas strongly supports S.2778 and looks forward to working with the bill sponsors and our industry peers to get it passed into law,” he said. “We are pleased to see the inclusion of long-needed integrity reforms that will dramatically reduce fraud and abuse in the EB-5 program.”
The bill, if enacted, would supersede the EB-5 modernization regulations set to go into effect on November 21, 2019. The regional center program’s authorization would be extended for six years through Sept. 30, 2025. Investor minimums would rise from current levels: $1 million for Targeted Employment Area (TEA) investments (from $500,000) and $1.1 million for non-TEA investments (from $1 million).
As well, a significant wave of new statutory requirements would follow for regional centers, investors, promoters, and service providers, which include meaningful incentives for investment in rural and distressed urban areas – a key goal for congressional reformers.
Importantly, the bill seeks to address the untenable visa backlog and make the program more competitive by permitting approved immigrant investors to wait for their green card inside the United States – an innovative, compromise solution for petitioners and dependents awaiting availability of an immigrant visa. Specifically, investors and family members waiting at least three years since petition approval would be permitted to live and work in the U.S. while awaiting green card availability.
“Civitas joins an energized EB-5 industry in championing passage of this key legislation,” Healy said. “The time for reform is now.”
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