Last Friday, US President Donald Trump signed short-term continuing resolution HR 1892 into law that, among other things, will extend the EB-5 program until March 23, 2018.
The program is America’s immigrant investor golden visa and has been a popular choice for Chinese nationals, as well as a recent source of controversy amid a heated debate on immigration throughout both the public and the government.
From the White House desk:
“On Friday, February 9, 2018, the President Donald Trump signed a short term continuing resolution HR 1892 into law:
Division B also includes a short-term continuing resolution that provides fiscal year (FY) 2018 appropriations for continuing projects and activities of the Federal Government through Friday, March 23, 2018.”
Division B of the CR would include funding for the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which administers the EB-5 program. While part of the same legislation, the 2-year defense spending package will not apply to the program and its ultimate fate is yet to be determined.
Advocates of the program hope that the temporary extension will give legislators and the EB-5 industry some extra time to reach a consensus on much-needed reform for the program. If an agreement is reached in time, EB-5 reforms could be included in future appropriations legislation, bringing it one step closer to long-term authorization.
EB-5 was brought to the forefront of the American news cycle back in May 2017 when Jared Kushner – son-in-law and senior advisor to President Trump – was found to have business links to the program’s aggressive promotion to Chinese citizens.
Possible conflicts of interest aside, the program itself is only one in a sea of many golden visa programs that are offered by Western countries, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.
Since 2013, over 9,000 visas have been approved every year for foreign nationals who can invest $500,000 USD into American enterprises. Supporters of the program argue for its significant economic impact, while admitting that the program is overdue for reform. With an expiration date of little more than 4 weeks, any possibility of longterm authorization remains murky.