September 5, 2017 – The EB-5 immigrant investor regional center program may wait until April 2018 before it sees final rulemaking changes, according to an updated rulemaking timetable published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In January 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its proposed amendments to Immigrant Investor EB-5 regulations, including raising minimum investment amounts and changing designations for Targeted Employment Areas. The period for public comment ended on 04/11/2017, and the OMB has updated its rulemaking schedule to anticipate a final action by April 2018.
The EB-5 Regional Center program has been the subject of legislative discussion in recent months, and Congress must affirmatively extend the program on or before 09/30/2017 or it will expire. The DHS schedule of April 2018 may be intended to give Congress more time to determine the legislative treatment of the EB-5 Regional Center program.
September 8, 2017 – The House of Representatives (lower chamber of Congress) and the Senate (upper chamber of Congress) have approved new legislation which includes a three-month continuing resolution to fund the U.S. government until December 8, 2017. The continuing resolution also extends, without changes, four immigration programs until December 8, 2017: the EB-5 Regional Center program, the Religious Worker program, the Conrad 30 program for foreign doctors working in rural areas, and the E-Verify programs for verification of the immigration status of foreign workers. The new expiry date of the EB-5 Regional Center program is December 8, 2017.
The new legislation also addresses includes urgently needed $7.4 billion in funding for disaster relief and reconstruction for the areas of Texas impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
Finally, the new legislation includes an increase in the debt ceiling and funding for the continuing operations of the U.S. federal government.
The President is expected to sign the new legislation in the next few days.