Following attempts by lawmakers to finalize EB-5 regulations last month, the recent release of the Office of Management and Budget Spring 2018 Unified Agenda now estimates the Final Action for sweeping EB-5 regulatory reform to be finalized in August 2018.
This marks the most recent development in a protracted process that has been seeking finalization since January 2017 when they were released in draft form. As drafted, the regulations would raise the minimum investment amount substantially, as well as curtail present provisions allowing for the liberal designation of Targeted Employment Areas at the state level.
This proposed date is already six months later than the date initially expected for finalization in February 2018. As we reported previously, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson was urged in a letter from Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) to finalize the regulations in April 2018. This letter followed a failed attempt by these lawmakers to enact legislation that would have completely changed the EB-5 program as we know it; and, as we maintained, legislation that would have been not for the better.
Much remains uncertain. It is still not clear what effect this pressure from lawmakers, or indeed, the many public comments submitted in opposition to the regulations will have on their final form. As DHS has already surpassed one regulatory Final Action date, so too this date may prove to be inaccurate. It is also unclear how long it will take for the reform to take effect whenever the regulations are finalized.
However, given the likelihood of significant and serious changes to the current regulations, investors considering EB-5 immigration should accordingly act with urgency. Contact our dedicated attorneys today for more information relating to EB-5 immigration.
Article authored by Catriona Davenport, LLM* Not authorized to practice law.