October 24, 2014

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Immigration EB-5 Amendment Set for Vote

Senator Leahy’s Amendment 2 to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill, S. 744 provides that, at the I-829 stage, there is a presumption that 10 indirect jobs have been created per investor if the I-829 petition evidence demonstrates that the investor’s money has been spent in the regional center’s project.  This is significantly different than the current rule that requires the investor demonstrate through documentary evidence that the underlying facts and milestones in the economic report have been met.

Senator Grassley has introduced an amendment to Senator Leahy’s Amendment 2, to strike the special rule for alien investors in a regional center that exempt them from meeting the job creation requirement at the I-829 stage set forth in section 203(b)(5)(A)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The result, we believe, would be to strike the I-829 job creation presumption in the Leahy Amendment 2 and have the language revert back to the current law, which requires investors at the I-829 stage to show that they have created 10 indirect or direct jobs.  Senator Grassley’s amendment also would authorize U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to require regional centers to participate in the Employment Verification System (E-Verify) and authorize the Fraud Detection and Nationality Security Directorate (FDNS) to conduct random site visits and compliance audits of regional centers.

Senator Leahy’s Amendment 2 will provide much needed flexibility to the regional center program’s job creation requirements. However, the proposed amendment is likely to have an opposite effect. The Amendments will be going to vote on Thursday. Regional centers and investors, who would like to voice an opinion, can contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee prior to the vote.

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