Lapse in EB-5 Regional Center Program puts 500k American Jobs and Billions in Investment at Stake

Lapse in EB-5 Regional Center Program puts 500k American Jobs and Billions in Investment at Stake

BY: Kyra Aviles

It has been a tumultuous summer for the EB-5 industry to say the least, with a craze of updates and changes affecting the Program in just a few months. Among the most notable developments has been the expiration of the Regional Center sector of the Program on June 30th, following the failure of Congress to pass legislation to extend it past this sunset date. This is an abrupt and un-welcome change for EB-5 stakeholders, as the program has historically been renewed by Congress each year in a way to prevent such expiration. This time, however, the Regional Center Program was detached from regular budget renewal and thus indefinitely sidelined. The result is that only the original EB-5 Investment Program (direct and direct pooled) is currently available to foreign nationals, the significance of which is far-reaching and detrimental to the U.S. economy.  

IIUSA released a data analysis which breaks down the numbers, allowing us to gauge the full scope of the damage caused by this lapse in the Regional Center Program. With over 90% of investors who took part in the EB-5 Program in the past doing so through the Regional Center Program, the expiration has large-scale effects on already-committed investors, their families, as well as capital investment and job creation. Overall, the economic consequences associated with the lapse exceed all other implications – potentially amounting to tens of billions of dollars in losses.  

IIUSA Data Analysis Highlights  

Committed EB-5 Investors and their Families  

  • Overall, almost 32,600 EB-5 investors who have invested in job-creating projects through a regional center are affected by the lapse   
    • Nearly 12,000 EB-5 investors with an I-526 petition pending will not receive any adjudication on their EB-5 cases during the lapse of the Program and experience delays in their immigration process 
    • Over 20,630 investors whose I-526 petitions have been approved and are awaiting conditional permanent residency are paused in their immigration process 

Capital Investment and Job Creation  

  • Over $15 billion in capital investment has been committed by the investors who are affected by the program lapse. As such, these investments are all at risk if the Program is not reauthorized by Congress. 
    • Nearly 12,800 investors with pending I-526 petitions at the time of the Program lapse have already committed at least $500,000 to an economic development project (approximately 300 of these investors committed at least $900,000)  
    • An estimated $4.9 billion in capital investment has been/is in the process of being injected into the US economy at the time of the Program lapse  
    • Investors who have approved I-526 petitions already generated $10.3 billion, funding projects across the nation  
  • 487,000 American jobs that would be generated by the investors affected by the Program lapse are at risk 

Read the full data analysis by IIUSA below.


About the Author

Kyra Aviles is a paralegal at Mona Shah & Associates Global. She graduated from Oberlin College in May 2021 with a degree in Political Science and Law & Society.