Representative Jared Polis (CO-02), along with original cosponsors Representatives Matt Salmon (AZ-05), Joe Garcia (FL-26) and Mark Amodei (NV-02), today introduced The American Entrepreneurship and Investment Act of 2014 which would reform and make permanent the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa program. The legislation ensures that this program, set to expire in 2015, continues to provide a reliable stream of foreign investments into the U.S. economy, creating jobs and allowing businesses to grow. The bill also seeks to improve the program by addressing problems including delays in processing times and inconsistent evaluations by agency adjudicators.
"Since its founding, our nation has benefited from the innovation and investments of people from across the globe," said Representative Polis. "Passing comprehensive immigration reform is still the only true way to fully maximize the benefits that motivated and ambitious immigrants can offer to the United States and I will continue fighting with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to fix our broken immigration system
"The EB-5 program provides significant injections of capital and talent to our economy and, with the improvements we make in this bill, will ensure that the best and brightest minds from around the world continue to come here with their ideas and business."
Colorado is currently home to six EB-5 Regional Centers. The Colorado Regional Centers have contributed significantly to the state of Colorado with over $80,000,000 in investments that have created over 2,000 full-time jobs over the past few years. The Colorado Regional Centers also have over $200,000,000 of future EB-5 investment currently in the pipeline. It is estimated that this investment will create over 5,000 full-time jobs throughout the state.
The EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program was created by Congress in 1992 to attract investments from qualified foreign investors to spur job creation and economic development in the U.S. The program provides a green card to foreign national investor-entrepreneurs who invest at least $1 million in certain qualified American businesses or invest in a Targeted Employment Areas (TEA) -- a rural area of area of high unemployment -- and create a minimum of 10 American jobs. Since 2005, the EB-5 Program has resulted in the investment of over $4.7 billion in qualified U.S. projects, creating 95,000 American jobs.
EB-5 investors must submit to the same national security and background checks as applicants in other visas categories and are subject to the same requirements to become U.S. citizens as other visa holders.
By making the EB-5 program permanent this bill provides certainty to businesses and investors.