In our last newsletter, we reported that reauthorization of the Regional Center program would likely remain elusive until February or March of next year. Many in the industry disagree with this prediction, and to be clear, we sincerely hope that we are wrong.
We do believe that the resolve of the industry to remain in consensus is strong and we know that alignment among industry stakeholders is necessary in order for any action on the part of Congress. But at the same time, there are other hurdles that can only be cleared with Congressional will power, which is notoriously difficult to predict. First, the EB-5 Regional Center reform bill must be reviewed by the relevant members of Congress, and then Congress must get to a point of agreement on attaching that bill to a legislative vehicle before the expiration of the current (or extended, short-term) CR.
What Is Needed For Passage Of The Bill?
To understand what may happen next, let us first review the process that the reform bill will have to follow for it to pass.
- The bill is presented to Congress
- Congressional staff and stakeholders agree on the final text for the bill
- The bill is attached to a must-pass piece of legislation
- Legislative vehicle passes both the House and the Senate and is signed by the President
Where Do We Stand Today?
The reform bill was sent to the staff members of relevant Senators and stakeholders are actively seeking feedback to arrive at a final bill. We are adding our voice to the chorus of industry consensus by actively endorsing the reform bill and conducting meetings with various Congressional staffers, directly and through our lobbyist, to underscore the importance of getting the Regional Center reform bill passed.
At the same time, we are actively working to ensure that there is a safety net in place for existing investors, regardless of the outcome in December. If there is no reauthorization in December, AIIA will reevaluate our position and strategy based on the current status of the bill and the likelihood of Congress to move it forward. If considerable progress has been made, we will continue to focus on supporting the industry-led effort. Conversely, if we do not see significant progress or if there is no perceptible path forward for reauthorization, we will begin to aggressively garner support for FIFPA, our stand-alone grandfathering legislation. It would be our appeal to EB-5 industry organizations to support us with FIFPA, as the right thing to do for EB-5 investors.
We Can’t Wait Until The New Year
If the Regional Center reauthorization is pushed into the new year, it is not the end of the line for the Regional Center program. While a continued lapse into 2022 is not ideal for all stakeholders, this introduces an additional acute risk to current investors. USCIS has stated that it would re-evaluate its stance of holding pending petitions in abeyance if there is no progress towards reauthorization by December 31st. This implies a possibility that all pending petitions could be summarily denied. AIIA is cognizant of this risk and is committed to protecting investors against such disastrous outcomes.
For Now, We Stay The Course
We will continue to put our support and resources behind the Regional Center reform bill: we would rather see it succeed than take the uphill path of a standalone bill for grandfathering. But we remain ready and resolute to do whatever it takes to protect investors.
AIIA is doing everything within its capabilities to bring a speedy end to this troubling lapse. We hope in sharing our advocacy efforts and action plan, AIIA can alleviate some anxiety. We hope you all have a happy and restful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. We will continue to update our members during these next crucial weeks and we encourage you to reach out to us if you have questions or wish to get more involved.
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