参议员Rand Paul在10月1日国会议题中提出了“投资我们的社区法案”（Invest in Our Communities Act, S.2122）。这项议案中包括了“使EB-5区域中心项目永久化”这样广泛受到欢迎的改革方针。我们列出主要几点内容：
- 在国土安全局以自由裁量权吊销或终止某一位申请人的申请时，须为其在行政法官面前提供听证，并备好该申请人的所有材料及事实。国土安全局需要以具有分量的优势证据(preponderance of the evidence)来证明吊销或终止该申请是有效的。
Senator Rand Paul introduced the Invest in Our Communities Act, S. 2122, on October 1, 2015. The bill has many provisions seeking to provide some much sought-after reform including making the EB-5 regional center program permanent. Specifically, the legislation contains the following key points:
- Provides that derivative family members are eliminated from EB-5 visa number count.
- Removes the per country quota for the EB-5 category.
- Adds additional visa numbers to the EB-5 category, thereby increasing the total visa allocation.
- Requires adjudication of petitions and applications to be made within 180 days of submission. Any requests for evidence must be issued within 30 days of receipt, and adjudication must occur within 30 days after the response to the request for evidence is received.
- Provides for a number of integrity measures, including the following:
- Regional Center operators must have a clean record in general, maintained for the last five years.
- Regional Center principals must be either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
- Regional Centers may not be owned or administered by a foreign government.
- Background checks (with fingerprinting) are required of Regional Center principals.
- Regional Centers must certify compliance annually as it relates to securities compliance, but an option to cure is available if deficiencies are found.
- Failure to comply with securities attestations can result in the suspension or termination of the Regional Center.
- Requires that a report to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House and Senate be prepared two years from the enactment of the Act detailing the percentage and types of completed and pending projects; whether Federal financial assistance is given to the project; and whether market demands exceed visa allocation.
- Protects the “child” status of an individual, such that if a petition is terminated, the individual may still be considered a child if the parent files another petition within one year and the “child” does not marry.
- Provides a mechanism for any person who is subject to suspension or termination due to the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security, to a hearing before an administrative law judge, with all facts and documents made available. The DHS has to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the suspension or termination was valid.
The bill seeks to reform many components of the program, and focuses on integrity measures for the program. A comparison of all four comprehensive bills thus far introduced in the 114th Congress. The bill introduced by Senator Flake is not included in this chart as it only relates to the targeted employment areas.
On October 1, 2015, Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona introduced S. 2115 the “Targeted Employment Areas Improvement Act.” The legislation proposes to amend Section 203(b)(5)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act as follows:
- Reserves 5,000 visas under the annual cap for investments made in targeted employment areas
- Provides that an area designated as a targeted employment area shall be valid for five years, with the possibility for renewal in five-year increments
- Provides that an investor who invests in a targeted employment area shall not be required to increase the investment should the designation expire
- Deems as a targeted employment area a “community adversely affected” a military base closure pursuant to a recommendation from the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission
- Defines “high unemployment area” as follows:
- a “census tract or group of census tracts that are economically integrated” and which take into consideration commuter flow patterns, that meet the unemployment threshold of 150 percent of the national unemployment average
- an area within the boundaries of a Federal or State development inventive program such as an enterprise zone, renewal community, promise zone, or empowerment zone, or any Federal or State program “designed to create jobs, start small businesses, or revitalize neighborhoods”
- Defines “rural areas” as follows:
- any area outside of a metropolitan statistical area
- areas within a metropolitan statistical area that are 1) a city or town with a population of 20,000 or fewer residents “on the outer boundary” of an MSA, 2) a city or town with a population of 20,000 or fewer residents that is within a state with a population of fewer than 1.5 million residents, or 3) an area located in a census tract within an MSA that as a population density of fewer than 500 people per square mile
We will send additional information including the text as soon as it is officially available.
昨天美国国会通过了联邦政府预算临时拨款议案，其中包括对EB-5区域中心计划短期延续至2015年12月11日。我们在9月14日曾写过对EB-5区域中心项目重新授权的前景预测。点击查看文章详情 今天国会通过的持续决议（continuing resolution）包含EB-5项目， 也同时包含E-Verify, the Conrad-30 Waiver项目，和非神职宗教工作者 (Non-Minister Religious Worker) 签证项目。这项持续决议将会暂时延续上述四项项目至2015年12月11日。议案113章规定了拨款时限，113章明确写出延续EB-5项目。
Today the U.S. Congress passed a government funding bill containing a short-term extension of the EB-5 Regional Center Program through December 11, 2015. We wrote previously about the EB-5 Regional Center Program’s prospects for reauthorization in a post on September 14. The bill, known as a continuing resolution, contains an extension for the EB-5 Program along with extensions for E-Verify, the Conrad-30 Waiver Program, and the Non-Minister Religious Worker Visa Program. The bill would extend all four of these programs through December 11, 2015. Section 131 sets out the duration of the funding authority. Section 131 of the bill contains the language to extend the EB-5 program.
For months the EB-5 community has been concerned about what might or might not happen with the expiration of the EB-5 Regional Center program. As Congress has been working toward an EB-5 reform package, many in the community have been viewing the September 30th sunset date as a hard deadline for filing regional center-related petitions. In light of the complicated legislative process, filing I-526 Investor petitions as well as exemplar petitions before the September 30th potential expiration of the program was reasonably seen as a priority.
Going forward, it will be important for industry stakeholders to reflect on why September 30th was viewed as a meaningful date for either of these filings. For instance, there was virtually no serious discussion about the possibility that Congress would simply let the Regional Center Program expire and not act to reauthorize it. Based solely upon on introduced legislation in the Congress and public statements from lawmakers, it appears likely that some reforms will ultimately be made to the EB-5 Regional Center Program. Over the coming months, industry stakeholders should take the opportunity to present their ideas about how any reforms could be implemented effectively and in a manner that supports the job creating efforts in which industry participants are engaged.
Now that Congress has passed a clean extension of the program through early December, we can only hope that real workable reform with reasonable transition dates can be enacted. Such an approach will help meet the expectations of investors, regional centers, and the job creating projects in which investments are being made so that all participants can proceed with the predictability and stability necessary for a healthy program.
Law360 conducted a survey to identify the 10 law firms that made the largest charitable donations in 2014. Greenberg Traurig ranked No. 1 with over 7 million dollars in charitable donations. Greenberg Traurig attorneys from across the firm regularly help the neediest on matters as wide-reaching as human rights and economic development, and as personal as domestic violence, children’s issues, and immigration. The firm’s mission is not only about helping clients navigate change, but also about helping our neighborhoods and families stay strong in changing times. Click here to read the full article.
On Sept. 9, 2015, the IRS issued long-awaited guidance on the 2008 legislation relating to gifts to United States persons made by former U.S. citizens and long-term residents who expatriate on or after June 17, 2008, and are classified as “covered expatriates.” The guidance came in the form of proposed regulations, which will be effective only after final regulations, potentially incorporating changes made as a result of further analysis and responses to comments, are published in the Federal Register.
The statutory provision that imposes the tax and is interpreted by these proposed regulations is Section 2801 of the Code.  Under that section, the applicable tax is not imposed on the donor, which is the typical case under the Code, but rather on the donee, in this case, the U.S. taxpayer recipient of the gift. To read full GT Alert click here.
 Section 2801 of the Code defines “covered expatriate” by reference to the section 877A(g)(1) definition of that term. Section 877A(g)(1) generally provides that an individual who expatriates on or after June 17, 2008, is a covered expatriate if, on the expatriation date, (1) the individual’s average annual net income tax liability is greater than $124,000 (indexed for inflation) for the previous five taxable years, (2) the individual’s net worth is at least $2,000,000 (not indexed), or (3) the individual fails to certify under penalty of perjury that he or she has complied with all U.S. tax obligations for the five preceding taxable years. The proposed regulations provide that, if an expatriate meets the definition of a covered expatriate, the expatriate is considered a covered expatriate for purposes of section 2801 at all times after the expatriation date, except during any period beginning after the expatriation date during which such individual is subject to United States estate or gift tax as a U.S. citizen or resident.
 All references to the “Code” are to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
 For purposes of Section 2801, a U.S. taxpayer is defined as a person who is a U.S. citizen or a U.S. resident at the time of the receipt of the gift.
Greenberg Traurig recently attended this year’s Samsung Hope For Children Gala at the Manhattan Center in New York City. With hundreds of guests in attendance, including musicians, athletes, and celebrities, this program has raised millions for schools, health initiatives, and community-based foundations. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised by the Samsung go directly to charity.
Greenberg Traurig attorneys Kristen Ng, Nataliya Rymer, and Kate Kalmykov
Today, leaders in the United States Senate unveiled legislation to fund the Federal Government through December 11, 2015 that contains an extension for the EB-5 Regional Center Program. The bill, known as a continuing resolution, contains an extension for the EB-5 Program along with extensions for E-Verify, the Conrad-30 Waiver Program, and the Non-Minister Religious Worker Visa Program. The bill would extend all four of these programs through December 11, 2015. Section 106 sets out the duration of the funding authority. Section 131 of the bill contains the language to extend the EB-5 program.
Kate Kalmykov, a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, was quoted in Law360’s article, “Gov’t Projects Nab EB-5 Funds As Investors Seek Security.” The article discusses how recently lawyers are seeing EB-5 investors increasingly looking for low-risk ventures and finding themselves in public projects. Law360 provides various examples of current public EB-5 investments from redeveloping multifamily housing to large infrastructure projects. In the article, Kalmykov states public projects have more accountability, because the project may also be receiving funds from states and municipalities, and in some cases federal funding.