North AmericaPolicy Updates

House to Vote This Week on Bill That Would Remove Per-Country Visa Caps on EB-5 Program

Zoe Lofgren, a House Representative from California who also heads the House Administration Committee has introduced a bill that would do away with per-country caps for employment-based visas, including EB-5. Industry stakeholders warn that removing per-country caps without also increasing the number of available visas will not solve the program’s capacity problem.

Want to know more about the US EB-5 Program? To see recent articles, statistics, official links, and more, please visit the EB-5 Program Page.

Suzanne Lazicki, a renowned EB-5 expert, estimates, on her blog, the consequences of the bill’s potential passing:

  • Past EB-5 investors from China: Under HR 1044, would receive visas at least 3-5 years earlier than under current rules
  • Past EB-5 investors from India: Under HR 1044, priority dates in 2017 and earlier would not be much affected, but investors with 2018/2019 priority dates would receive visas 3-4 years later than under current rules.
  • Past EB-5 investors from Vietnam: Under HR 1044, priority dates in 2016 would not be much affected, but investors with 2018/2019 priority dates would receive visas 2-3 years later than under current rules.
  • Past EB-5 investors other countries: Under HR 1044, priority dates after 2017 would receive visas 3-5 years later than under current rules.
  • Future EB-5 investors from any country: Under HR 1044, EB-5 investors from any country who file shortly after the date of enactment would wait 7-8 years for visa.
  • EB-5 industry: Would likely go into hibernation, except for services to past investors, for 7-8 years (or not, if prospective investors are willing to face the wait times)

“Normally, I just disregard rumblings from Congress, assuming they’ll come to nothing, but there’s been significant movement on H.R.1044 – Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019. This bill now has 311 co-sponsors — 75% of the House,” writes Lazicki, but adds that “it’s likely that momentum will die in the Senate”.

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The IIUSA, the EB-5 industry’s chief advocacy group, writes on its blog that it “remains concerned that the removal of country caps alone may lead Congress to believe that the visa relief issue has been resolved, in fact, there are necessary additional solutions that will truly help current and future job-creating investors, including an increase in the number of available visas.”

Image credit: Carol M. Highsmith [Public domain]

Christian Henrik Nesheim AdministratorKeymaster

Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.

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