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    Posted May 22, 2013 by
    LanaBandoim

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    Senate passes multiple amendments to immigration bill

     

    The Senate has passed multiple amendments to the immigration bill. Although it continues to be controversial, there is one aspect of the amendments that has been largely ignored. The Washington Post reports that the EB-5 visa program has been modified and few media sources are covering this.

     


    The EB-5 visa program started in 1990, but the latest amendment approved by the Senate makes significant changes. This investment program allows foreigners to obtain a green card if they invest a minimum of $500,000 in targeted employment areas or $1 million in other places by creating or saving new jobs. The amendment changes the language to include regional center programs and makes the EB-5 a permanent fixture.

     


    If the Senate had not passed the amendment, then the EB-5 visa program would have ended in 2015. In a recent interview, Abbas Hashmi, who is an investment banker and involved in the EB-5 program, reveals that it has contributed to growth in many communities across the country, so the Senate’s decision to continue the EB-5 is not surprising. Hashmi shares that the changes to the program will make it more attractive to communities because it will be tied to the consumer price index (CPI) starting in 2015. He explains that the goal of this investment program is to help local economies grow in the United States by boosting job creation.

     


    Senator Patrick Leahy, who proposed the amendment, believes the EB-5 can add $5 billion a year to communities. Many of the modifications focus on making the application and approval process easier for foreign investors while ensuring their commitment through the regional centers.

     


    Sources:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/17/immigration-bills-48-passed-amendments-heres-what-they-do/
    http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/legislation/immigration/amendments/Leahy/Leahy2-(MRW13335).pdf

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