Lofgren and Gutierrez Introduce Investor and Entrepreneur Immigration Bill
House Immigration Subcommittee Members Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) have introduced a bill that would permanently reauthorize the EB-5 program and make various reforms. They include raising the minimum investment threshold for targeted employment areas from $500,000 to $1,000,000 and raising the higher level investment threshold from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000. Concurrent filing for I-526 petitions and I-485 petitions would be permitted and a new 60-day premium processing option would be available. The bill also includes a number of new anti-fraud provisions. A detailed summary of the EB-5 changes in the bill can be found here.
The bill also would create a new start-up visa for entrepreneurs who attract funding and create jobs. There are two conditional green card categories reserved for entrepreneurs. One would be based on attracting investors and creating high paying jobs. The other would not be tied to investments, but would have a higher job creation requirement.
The bill further provides for a permanent reauthorization of the Conrad 30 J-1 program and a five year extension of the E-Verify and religious worker programs.
The bill’s likely going to attract opposition from advocates of physician immigration and backers of the E-Verify program, each of whom are promoting reforms to those programs.