July 2015

On July 29, Representative Zoe Lofgren, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, and Representative Luis Gutiérrez introduced H.R.3370, the Entrepreneurial Business Creating Jobs Act of 2015 to permanently reauthorize and reform the EB-5 Regional Center Program. Representative Lofgren’s sectional summary can be found here.

The legislation provides visas for foreign entrepreneurs who obtain venture capital or seed financing and wish to start businesses in the United States. And it provides visas for foreign entrepreneurs who are in the United States in non-immigrant status operating an existing business and can show that the business is growing.

The legislation also permanently reauthorizes the Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program, and authorizes for five years the E-Verify Program and the Special Immigrant Nonminister Religious Worker Program. Below are the major components of the legislation:

Provisions for “Venture Capital-Backed Start-Up Entrepreneurs”

  • Visas are made available to foreign entrepreneurs on a conditional basis who are sponsored by, as defined by the legislation, a “qualified venture capital fund,” one or more “angel investors,” a “qualified business,” or who obtain funding through a “qualified seed accelerator.”
  • In order to have conditions removed, the entrepreneur must show that within a two-year period, the business created full-time jobs for five or more U.S. workers; raised an additional $2 million in capital investment; earned $1 million in revenue; or created full-time jobs for three U.S. workers with salaries of $100,000.


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The White House has just released a new report titled “Modernizing & Streamlining our Legal Immigration System for the 21st Century,” which builds on the President’s executive actions of Nov. 21, 2014. This report provides for plans to improve the immigration system to modernize and streamline the processes for certain visa categories and to address security issues. The report also calls for plans to strengthen the United States’ humanitarian system by providing benefits for certain individuals.

The report specifically addresses the EB-5 program in important ways. The White House acknowledges that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has undergone significant changes in an effort to enhance the program’s processes and to improve its integrity, including the creation of a new team with expertise in economic analysis and specific EB-5 components, as well as the issuance of updated policy guidance to provide better clarity as to program requirements.

The White House recognizes that there is a need for additional enhancements and improvements to address the integrity and impact of the EB-5 program. Specifically, the White House recommends additional measures including enhancements to avoid fraud, abuse, and criminal activity; measures to ensure that the program is reaching its full potential in terms of job creation and economic growth; and recommendations to streamline the program to make it efficient and stable for participants in the program, including petitioners and Regional Centers.
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