Since EB-5 Regional Center program sunset on 30th June last year, many foreign investment immigrants have been left in limbo. With I-526 petitions on hold until a reauthorization takes place, the status for tens of thousands of immigrants remains suspended. The delays in passing a bill to reinstate or rework the program have only been hindered by the pandemic as well as disagreements as to potential changes in the program and possible inclusions in the proposed bill. The sentiment has never been to cancel the EB-5 program completely, but rather how to improve the program for the betterment of investors, the projects, and the general public. Backlogs Currently, the backlogs in I-526 petitions reportedly equate to some 30,000 people, $15 billion in investment and 50,000 US jobs. With consulates closing in March 2020 as the pandemic took a grip of the world, work stopped on processing applications. Once opened again, a 4-tier system was implemented to prioritise essential work, and EB-5 applications sit at the lowest priority tier. Adding fuel to the fire towards the end of last year, two infrastructure bills became the focus of the House of Representatives. American Jobs Plan and Build Back Better both have a focus on infrastructure, and have the common goal of creating jobs but also repairing and improving roads, bridges, ports and pipes. With the two bills now pushed through Congress, supporters of the EB-5 Program are hopeful that they can have it brought forward again for reauthorization. The government has just passed a short term continuing resolution until March 11. Over the next week or two, the industry hopes to hear good news on the proposed bill. A reauthorization of the Regional Center program would allow for work to begin on the backlog of petitions. Leaked Draft A draft of a bill leaked recently does present further hope for supporters of the program’s reintroduction. The leaked draft proposed the reform of the EB-5 and reauthorisation of the Regional Center program until 2027. The bill proposes changes to investment amounts, but also redefines TEAs (Targeted Employment Areas), high unemployment areas and rural areas. Other proposals include an addition of reserved visas for TEAs (30%), changes to capital deployment and priority processing for certain types of investment. You can still find further information on our site, or get in contact by clicking this link.