The EB-5 Regional Center program reauthorization has been extended till March 23 2018 as part of the Continuing Resolution signed by President Trump yesterday. New EB-5 Visa applicants have gotten a 6 week timeline to finalize their I-526 petition.
Things happening in the next 6 weeks:
DHS/USCIS might publish their new guidelines anytime in Feb 2018 as per RIN 1615-AC07. It was earlier supposed to be published only in April 2018, but the department has actually moved up the date, which sends us a message that they are very close to finalizing the new regulations. These new regulations will affect the Investment amounts and how the TEA regions will be decided going forward. There is no indication that any of these regulations will be retroactively enacted.
|Current EB-5 Regional Center Regulations Vs Proposed new Investments|
|Type of Investment||Existing Investment||Proposed Investment|
|TEA Region Investment||$ 500,000||$ 1,350,000|
|Non-TEA Region Investment||$ 1,000,000||$ 1,800,000|
The other major rule change that is being proposed is:
DHS will designate the TEA region for projects, unlike currently, States have the discretion to designate TEA region. This will be a major change and might even delay TEA designations as DHS is already overwhelmed with existing petitions, Regional Centers approvals and monitoring.
Congress might still finally wake up and do something about the changes to the Regional Center program, before the DHS regulations come into force. But the uncertainty is definitely unnerving for the EB-5 investor.