The Real Deal New York

Changes could come to EB-5 investor visa program

The federal program, which has helped fund multiple projects, is up for its tenth renewal this year
January 12, 2015 08:40AM

The EB-5 investor program, an initiative that provides non-residents with visas in exchange for investments that create jobs, is up for renewal this year.

With a Republican-controlled Congress, the program — which is popular with investors — might face political obstacles to reauthorization, according to the New York Observer. The EB-5 program has helped fund many real estate projects in the city, including Related Companies’ Hudson Yards.

Silverstein Properties’ 30 Park Place has used foreign investors through the program as well. Forest City Ratner Companies has raised more than $475 million through the program to construct its project near the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Durst Organization raised $260 million through the EB-5 program in 2013 and 2014 for two apartment towers.

Congress renewed EB-5 the last nine times it has come up, according to the newspaper. Since the last renewal in 2012, however, the political climate has changed. Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa has replaced fervent EB-5 supporter Senator Patrick Leahy as the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

EB-5, which offers a fast-track to a green card for non-U.S. citizens who invest at least $500,000 in approved projects that create jobs, currently allows 10,000 visas to be approved every year. [NYO] Claire Moses