Washington, D.C. – March 23, 2018: Yesterday, the House of Representatives and the Senate each passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, a $1.3 trillion spending bill that funds the government through September 30, 2018. Today, President Trump signed the bill into law to ensure the continuity of government operations. As part of the spending bill, the EB-5 Regional Center visa program was also extended without changes until September 30, 2018.
This pattern of short-term continuing resolutions has been the dominant approach since September of 2017. In the past year, the Federal Government has passed five short-term Continuing Resolutions between September 2017 and February 2018. In each Continuing Resolution, the EB-5 Regional Center visa program has been extended without changes.
At the same time, industry observers will now be turning to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) to assess the potential implementation of new regulations for the EB-5 program which were supposed to be published in final form in February of 2018. Commentators have previously stated that the USCIS is typically reluctant to adopt new rules when Congress is debating potential legislation which will affect the EB-5 program.
U.S. Immigration Fund Chairman and CEO Nick Mastroianni II stated, “We are grateful that the leaders of Congress did not let a small group of legislators, who did not share their proposed changes to their fellow members or the public until the very end, ram through a bill that would have mortally wounded or destroyed the EB-5 program. We certainly hope Congressional leaders will instruct those members, who have tried the same failed tactics three years in a row, to try something different. We suggest that the table of interested parties be expanded to include those members of the public and Congress who have felt aggrieved by the past practice and have something to say. The Speaker and Senate Majority Leader need to open a new dialogue and create a new process to build consensus around true fixes to improve, update, and safeguard the program. We stand ready to be part of that process.”