May 31, 2012
On Thursday, May 24, 2012, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation seeking to give 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 introduced by Senator Leahy will ensure permanence for this positive program.
According to Senator Leahy, months of negotiation led to the final draft that was introduced for Congressional approval. The legislation seeks to grant a permanent authorization to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center program, as well as extend the voluntary E-Verify program and two other visa programs for religious workers known as “Conrad 30.” The bill is co-sponsored by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Ranking Member Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
Leahy explains via press release:
Vermont has been a model for the success of the EB-5 Regional Center Program, and I want to see that great success continues for Vermonters, and those who wish to pursue business opportunities in our great state…I am grateful that Senator Grassley has worked with me to craft this legislation, and I am optimistic its introduction marks the beginning of a strong bipartisan effort to make these long-standing programs permanent.
Senator Leahy is responsible for previous successes in obtaining short-term extensions of the program through Congress. Earlier in the week, Leahy secured a three-year extension of the programs during the Appropriations Committee’s consideration of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill.
As the EB-5 Visa Program has garnered success and received more attention as a viable means of investment and visa approval, the value of the program has equally increased. Competition amongst project and visa approval is rising, as noted in March 2012 statistics from the USCIS that 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 development projects that are beneficial to the US economy.
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.
*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.