Detail

Rural-Urban Coalition Proposes EB-5 Reforms

  • May 17, 2019

A broad coalition representing rural and urban stakeholder groups submitted principles today to the Senate and House Judiciary committees on strengthening and reforming the EB-5 investment visa program, which is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2019.  (EB-5 coalition letter)

A broad coalition representing rural and urban stakeholder groups submitted principles today to the Senate and House Judiciary committees on strengthening and reforming the EB-5 investment visa program, which is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2019. (EB-5 coalition letter

  • The coalition also recommends in the May 17 letter that a comprehensive reform package for the EB-5 Regional Center program accompany a six-year reauthorization term.
  • The letter marks the first set of reform principles that have broad, unified support across the EB-5 industry and national real estate organizations.  Signatories to the letter include the EB-5 Investment Coalition, Invest in the USA (IIUSA), Rural Alliance, The Real Estate Roundtable, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
  • The coalition's recommendations to modernize the EB-5 program "…would achieve the vital goals of safeguarding our national security and deterring investor fraud while ensuring that foreign direct investment obtained through the EB-5 program continues to drive economic growth and job creation in the U.S."  (EB-5 coalition letter)
  • recent report estimates that the regional center program brought a total of $10.98 billion into the country (accounting for roughly 2% of all foreign direct investment net flows into the U.S.), and created more than 355,000 U.S. jobs (representing roughly 6% of private sector job growth), from FY 2014 – FY 2015.
  • Among the principles detailed in the letter, the coalition proposes steps to benefit Targeted Employment Area (TEA) projects in rural communities and distressed urban census tracts designated by the U.S. Treasury Department as "Opportunity Zones." Both geographic designations are census tract-based and share the common objective to channel investment capital to the nation's distressed communities. 

The coalition recommends a set-aside of visas to spur EB-5 investments in Rural and Urban Distressed communities.  It also urges Congress to take action to reduce the overwhelming backlog of pending investor petitions that are choking the program and blocking inbound foreign investment capital into the U.S.