By: Kenneth S. Levine

Foreign investors interested in obtaining a green card by investing in a USCIS designated EB-5 Regional Center program may rest assured that the program will remain in full force and effect for at least another 5 months. A bipartisan appropriations bill announced by Congress today, and expected to be signed by the President this week, contains a provision that extends the EB5 Regional Center program through 9/30/2017.

While there was rampant speculation that Congress would raise the qualifying investment amount from $500,000 to $800,000 by way of a short-term extension, this did not occur. The EB-5 Regional Center Program was extended in its entirety, meaning that foreign investors may continue to seek Permanent Residency under the current investment standard of $500,000 in a qualifying regional center project.

While the lack of predictability inherent in short term extensions may understandably unnerve foreign investors, and will continue until Congress passes a permanent EB-5 re-authorization, any applications filed while the program remains in effect will be processed by USCIS. Furthermore, given the inarguable economic benefits that the EB-5 Regional Center program brings to communities throughout the U.S., it is difficult to envision Congress simply allowing this program to expire.  It remains an open question whether the Congressional budget battle this September brings badly needed permanency to the EB-5 Regional Center program or merely results in yet another extension.

For additional information related to this topic and for advice regarding how to navigate U.S. immigration laws you may contact Kenneth S. Levine of the law firm of Freeman, Mathis & Gary, LLP at (770-551-2700) or