US Senate Passes EB-5 Investment Visa Bill

On Thursday, August 2, 2012, the United States Senate agreed to a three-year reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program, as well as three other programs included in S.3245, with unanimous consent. The bill, presented by Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) on May 24, 2012, now waits on the House, which is on recess until early September, for full approval.

The legislation seeks to grant permanent status to the EB-5 Regional center Program, among other job-creating endeavors. Established by Congress in 1990, the EB-5 Regional Center Program has successfully facilitated immigrant investments toward economy-boosting and community development campaigns across the country. As the program was scheduled for review in September 2012, the current bill sought to oppose any cessation of this economically impactful program.

In addition to the renewal of the EB-5 investor visa category, the bill seeks to continue the E-Verify program, a workplace verification system used to determine whether a job applicant is legally present in the country. The proposal also extends certain medical professional and religious worker visa categories.

The bill is expected to pass quickly through the House in September, as the matter will be taken up via suspension of the rules, meaning there will be no floor debate.

Over the past two decades, the EB-5 Visa program has created 65,000 jobs through $3.1 billion in investments. If permanent status is granted through Leahy’s bill, the numbers will continue to grow. As of March 2012 statistics from the USCIS reported 2,364 EB-5 Visas were issued during the first quarter of the year. At the current rate of acceptance, the 10,000 limit on EB-5 Visas will be met by year’s end. The extension of this program will ensure immigrants will continue to be able to invest in real estate development projects that are beneficial to the US economy.

*This story is brought to you by Florida Regional Center.

Florida Regional Center was established as an agent of the 1990 Congress-approved EB-5 Regional Center Program. Based in Palm Beach Gardens and representing development projects in the South Florida area, Florida Regional center works with foreign investors to obtain EB-5 Visas and permenant residency in exchange for community-developing and job-creating investments. Other projects Florida Regional Center is using EB-5 Visa funding for include the Water Pointe Project, ESI Jupiter Technology Park Project and the Tequesta Village Center project.

For more information on EB-5 Visas and the EB-5 Visa Program, to learn about Florida Regional Center or to speak with a representative from Florida Regional Center, visit visaeb-5.com.