The EB-5 Regional Center Program authorization was set to expire September 30, 2017. The extension of the authorization until December 8, 2017 was part of the legislation (known as H.R. 601) signed into law by President Trump on September 8, 2017. H.R. 601 was widely discussed because it provided the $15.25 billion for hurricane relief and staved off a potential U.S. default on its debt. The regular direct EB-5 program did not have an expiration date and continues to be available. The EB-5 community continues to watch for further legislative activity.
The extension of the Regional Center authorization allows USCIS to continue to process applications until December 8, 2017 or until further legislative action. Unfortunately, USCIS processing of EB-5 petitions is very slow – almost 18 months. This means that the uncertainty about what happens to pending applications will continue. There are advantages to filing under current provisions, but potential investors should seek legal guidance and evaluate the risks carefully.