Dear Valued Clients,
EB-5 is currently in flux. While we have a wonderful situation where the investment amount has been reduced to $500,000 and more favorable Targeted Employment Area (TEA) rules are back in place, we cannot fully capitalize on this gift because the Regional Center program expired June 30, 2021 (the “Direct EB-5” program is still available).
Therefore, two questions currently dominate EB-5:
- When will the Regional Center program be reauthorized?
- How long will we have the $500,000 investment and more favorable TEA rules in place?
We offer our best good-faith predictions for both questions.
Given the US Congressional calendar and its list of legislative priorities, we expect the Regional Center program to be reauthorized sometime after the second week of September.
Given the US regulatory process and its timelines, we expect the $500,000 investment amount and more favorable TEA rules to be in place until somewhere between mid- November 2021 and the end of December 2021.
Guidance for Investors
While we accept that there is some level of uncertainty regarding these timelines, we are counseling potential investors to begin both the “Source of Funds” and “project due diligence and selection” processes now. Done properly, both of these processes take time.
Those who start both processes now should be ready to move forward with the submission of their EB-5 petition without delay once the US Congress reauthorizes the Regional Center program.
Do not wait until the last minute! There is no need to wait to start the processes until answers to one or both of the above questions becomes clearer. Time comes at a premium. Do not waste it.
Guidance for Regional Centers and Developers
The inventory of quality EB-5 projects is at an all-time low. This is due to the confluence of factors including: 1) The November 2019 increase in the investment amount to $900,000 and the negative changes in TEA rules; 2) the global pandemic that has caused many developers to slow down their project timelines; 3) restrictions on international travel, which make marketing EB-5 projects very difficult; and 4) uncertainty about when the Regional Center program would be reauthorized.
And with the Regional Center program currently inactive, the natural and understandable tendency of developers may be to shelve any upcoming EB-5 raises until the program is reauthorized.
However, this is the wrong approach! We know with a degree of certainty that the Regional Center program is returning and is returning at $500,000. We already saw this movie during the last week of June when the Behring decision was announced. Floods of potential investors came out of the woodwork and were competing for a limited number of available spots in existing projects. Some Regional Centers even dusted off old projects that suddenly requalified as being in TEAs just to raise extra capital. The project shortage was acute.
In the same way that it takes investors time to put together their documents to submit an EB- 5 petition, the same is true for developers hoping to raise EB-5 capital for their projects. Time comes at a premium. Do not waste it.
Therefore, we are recommending that Regional Centers and developers start setting up projects now to take advantage of the upcoming surge during the limited time that the old TEA rules and $500,000 investment will remain in effect.
Waiting until the Regional Center program is reauthorized to begin preparing the documentation necessary for an EB-5 project will be too late. By the time the documents are completed, the amount will have likely increased to $900,000 and the less favorable TEA rules will likely have returned, not to mention lost marketing time.
This quirk of US government inefficiency is a boon to investors, Regional Centers and project developers alike. While we are sensitive to the view that “oh, this is another one of those fake EB-5 deadlines that come up every year or so,” this will really be the last dance at $500,000 and the more favorable TEA rules. Do not miss out!
At Meyer Law Group, we are ready to help investors, Regional Centers and project developers achieve their EB-5 goals. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any assistance. Thank you.
Managing Partner, Meyer Law Group