EB-5加时赛开踢,球门在哪? | 专家分析

Where are we now? 这是谁都想弄清楚的问题,加时赛开踢了,对手是国会,对吧?那又有谁能告诉我球门在哪?想必这是业内所有人,以及投资者的疑惑,今天就来一起看下,一早业内朋友Vanessa转来的这篇H. Ronald Klasko律师就此撰写的文章,中文由其律所F. Oliver Yang翻译,略作调整。

美国移民局

Where Are We Now?

之前让很多EB-5业内人士忧心忡忡的9月30日已经悄然过去,而酝酿已久的EB-5全面改革法案尚不见踪影。而我们看到的,则是EB-5项目作为保证联邦政府运行的持续决议案 (continuing resolution) 的一部分被短暂延期至12月11日。这也就意味着,在国会通过新法案并且被奥巴马总统签署之前,所有原EB-5法律下的操作依然照旧。而我们现在希望和能够预见的,则是在12月11日前能够通过一个长期的EB-5授权法案。

在过去的一周时间里,又有两份新的议案在参议院被提出。

第一份是,亚利桑那州Jeff Flake参议员提出的着重解决指定TEA(目标就业区域)问题的议案。这份提案规定,除了农业区,TEA还应该包括,基于公交通勤“在经济上有高结合度”的、超过全国平均失业水平150%的,多个人口统计区的集合。提案同时包含了,州政府和联邦政府可以设立的刺激性计划区域,包括企业开发区。一旦被设为TEA,那么该区域会在未来5年内保持TEA的认定。

第二份议案,则是由肯塔基州Rand Paul参议员提出。他提议将EB-5区域中心项目永久化,提高EB-5项目的签证数量,保留TEA下50万美金最低投资额,以及采取相应措施提高EB-5项目的透明度和公信度。

EB5Sir注:关于上诉两个提案,请参考下文:一天两提案,幸福太多有没有 | EB-5重大利好

几乎可以肯定的是,这两份议案都不会成为最终的法律。尽管如此,特别是Flake参议员的提案毕竟将TEA这一争议问题端上台面以供多方探讨。Flake参议员以及其他一些有能力阻挠任何法案通过的,有影响力的参议员希望保证新的EB-5法案不会阻碍大都市地区的EB-5项目投资。Flake议案对接下来任何提案的撰写人明示了,他们这些充分支持EB-5的参议员所能够接受的TEA定义。

那么,既然这两份议案都不大可能被通过,EB-5立法接下来又会走向何方?在过去的几个月,Grassley和Leahy参议员,以及Goodlatte、Issa和Lofgren这些众议员,都一直在紧密合作以求达成一个能在众议院先行推出,且得到多方认可的提案。大多数消息来源指出,这一提案90%的条款都已经写好,其中包含了诸如将最低投资额提价至,TEA的80万美元和其他地区的120万美元,旨在提高区域中心计划透明度和公信度的措施,以及有可能的改变就业数额计算方式的这些规定。

而之所以,9月30日之前国会并未推出新的EB-5全面改革法案,是由于剩下的10%条款还未达成一致。这剩下的部分,就包含了关于TEA认定以及新法生效日这两块内容。正如我之前撰文所说,TEA问题是一个意识形态的问题(EB5Sir注:这里指的是乡村和城市的所谓“意识形态”争议),而生效日问题则是法律、实践以及哲学问题的综合议题。

据透露,新法案的起草者们,可能已经就极大限制大都市地区的TEA认定,基本上达成了一致。但问题是,那些来自拥有许多大都市地区EB-5项目州的参议员明确表示,将反对这一TEA认定。基于所剩时间无多,这些反对者将使得这一新法案无法在国会被快速通过。正因为如此,新法案的起草者,正在尝试在这一问题上找到双方的妥协点,使得法案的措辞既能够使那些希望EB-5项目为农业区域提供更多刺激措施的参议员满意,也能够得到那些希望继续将EB-5资金投入大都市地区项目的重要参议员的支持。在接下来很短的时间内,众议院将很有可能出现这样一份对双方各有妥协的提案。而这份提案将最有可能成为,能够在短时间内能够被众议院通过然后递交参议院,且被参议院多方认可的提案。尽管如此,这一情形下仍然有许多不确定性,其中重要的一环就是众议院议长和其他领导位置在现任博纳议长辞职后的交接问题。(EB5Sir注:众议院议长,共和党众议员博纳,在9月底宣布10月底辞职。)

而就法案的生效日期,以及项目和投资人的祖父化问题,现阶段的分歧不在于意识形态的不一致,而在于法案起草人希望能够充分理解各种情形下各个具体问题以及其带来的可能影响。在撰写本文的今日,这一问题仍然是新法案中悬而未决的问题。

接下来的任何新的法案,都极有可能包含单独规定法案生效日期和项目以及投资人祖父化的条款。尽管今年早些时候Grassley-Leahy提案(EB5Sir注:指6月4日的参议院提案),仅仅包含了祖父化项目的规定,而并未考虑投资人的祖父化,新的法案更有可能着重考虑投资人的祖父化,而不是项目的祖父化。尽管如此,依然存在新法案不祖父化所有投资人,以及祖父化一部分项目的可能性。同时,祖父化的标准可能严格按照递件日,也可能按照另一个别的一些标准。

就生效日而言,以下几个日期都有可能:

该法案的实际通过日、9月30日、12月11日,在法案通过后的某个将来的日期,比如6个月或1年后,以及移民局现在建议的倒回几个月作为生效日期。

假如法案祖父化的规定不能将所有投资人祖父化,那将是非常不公平的,这也可能导致旷日持久的诉讼。同时,据透露,法案的作者们正在讨论一个机制,从而能够让新法案基于一个现在尚不为人知的标准,而祖父化一部分项目。其中一个标准可能是在10月1日前递交样本样板申请。

那么这对于我们来说又意味着什么?对于投资人而言,如果你在10月1日前递交了申请,那么可能占得了先机,但具体是否受益尚且不得而知。而对于尚未递件的投资人,为今之计依然是尽快递件,且如果您投资的是在10月1日前递交范本申请的项目,也有可能会从中收益。

对于在10月1日前递交范本申请的项目来说,在法律上是否受益尚且难说,但在市场营销上,如果在10月1日前的递交了范本申请,则是有优势的。对于尚未递交范本申请的项目,在最终新法案规定的生效日前递交样本申请可能有好处,也可能于事无补。如果国会正在构想一个祖父化一部分项目的标准,那么他们可能会看在生效日期前该项目是否已经有投资人完成投资,或者有投资人已经递交了EB-5申请。

总而言之,由于在10月1日前没有通过EB-5改革法案,投资人、项目方和区域中心都处在不确定中,这对于EB-5项目的利害关系人而言并不是好事。我希望,在不久的将来,我能够有机会撰文分析总结一个能够长期化或者永久化EB-5区域中心项目,并且保证EB-5项目在长久的将来持续繁荣发展下去的新提案。

对于球门在哪的问题,结合Ron Klasko律师的文章,个人总结如下:

1. 由于新法案没出台,具体会是怎样的条款,没有人知道;

2. 一切正常的话,新法案应该在12月11日之前能够出台;

3. 6月4日的参议院的提案,对EB-5行业的杀伤力非常大,因而争议也比较大。当前信息是,最有可能变为新法案的是,由参议院司法委员会主席Goodlatte等在起草的提案;

4. 据本文介绍,上述草拟的提案中90%条款,已经拟定并基本达成共识,包括:涨价、加强EB-5监管和就业计算的变更(这点之前的消息是还在争议);另外10%的还在争议,包括:TEA的认定和生效时间(即祖父条款问题)

5. 到底新法何时开始生效,是业内和投资者都会非常关心的问题。按照本文的意思:10月1日之前递交I-526的投资者应该是安全的,否则移民局会面临众多诉讼。那10月1日到12月11日,或者法案生效前,由于所谓的祖父条款并未明确,更安全的做法是,投资到一个已经递交I-924范本申请的项目。

6. 所以,就整个即将出台的法案而言,祖父条款的悬而未决,对于投资者或者业内来说,是最要命的事情。关于祖父条款,可以查看这篇文章:何为祖父条款?为何这么要命并致使法案难产?| 每日一问(1054)

7. 最后,只要你错过了9月30日,并且已经决定参与EB-5加时赛的话,那么也无需细究祖父条款究竟会怎样,尽量往前赶,并且按照本文的意思尽量投资到一个在10月1日之前,已经递交I-924范本申请的项目,恐怕是现阶段所能做的最好的选择吧。

原文作者:H. Ronald Klasko律师,翻译:F. Oliver Yang,原文出处:www.klaskolaw.com。

Where Are We Now?

September 30 has come and gone, and there is no new EB-5 law. Rather, there is an extension of the regional center EB-5 program as part of the continuing resolution to fund the U.S. Government through December 11. The result is that it is business as usual under the existing EB-5 law unless and until a new law passes Congress and is signed by the President. The hope and expectation is that there will be a new law containing a long-term extension of the EB-5 program passed before December 11.

Two EB-5 bills were introduced in the Senate in the last week. One was introduced by Senator Flake of Arizona, focusing on the TEA issue. In addition to rural areas, the bill would include as targeted employment areas groups of census tracts that are “economically integrated” based on commuter flows with unemployment rates exceeding 150% of the national average. The bill would also include state or federal designated incentive program areas, such as enterprise and empowerment zones. Once designated as a TEA, the area would retain the TEA designation for 5 years.

The other bill was introduced by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. His bill would make the regional center program permanent, increase the number of visas available for EB-5, keep the investment amount for TEAs at $500,000 and implement measures to improve the transparency and integrity of the EB-5 program.

Almost certainly, neither of these bills will become law. However, especially the Flake bill is significant in laying a “marker” on the TEA issue. Senator Flake and other key senators, who could be in a position to block any legislation, want to make certain that a new EB-5 bill does not disincentivize investments in urban areas. The Flake bill alerts the drafters of any new legislation as to the TEA language that would merit their approval.

So if neither of these bills is likely to proceed, what is the likely scenario for EB-5 legislation? For months, staffers for Senators Grassley and Leahy and Congressmen Goodlatte, Issa and Lofgren have been attempting to agree on a bill that would be introduced, most likely initially in the House. By most accounts, 90% of the bill is and has been drafted, including an increase in investment amount to $800,000 for a TEA and $1,200,000 for other areas, provisions to increase the transparency and integrity of the regional center EB-5 program and possibly some changes to acceptable job creation methodologies.

The reason that there was no bill introduced before September 30 relates to the other 10% of the bill; specifically, the TEA provisions and the effective date provisions. As discussed in my last blog, the TEA issue is an ideological division; the effective date issue is a legal/practical/philosophical problem.

Reportedly, the drafters of the bill are fairly aligned on a TEA definition that would significantly cut back on urban TEA projects. The problem is that senators from states that have attracted significant EB-5 money into urban projects have made it clear that they would oppose such legislation. Given the limited timeframe, such opposition would prevent the bill from being fast tracked through Congress. The result is that ongoing attempts are being made to draft compromise language that would satisfy the senators and congressmen who want to incentivize rural area investments while appeasing key senators who want to keep investment dollars flowing into urban projects. Most likely, we will see the results of such a compromise in an EB-5 bill to be introduced in the House in the very near future. It is this bill that would likely be the lead vehicle to be expedited for a floor vote in the House of Representatives and then go to the Senate, where it hopefully will achieve unanimous consent. Many roadblocks still stand in the way of this scenario, not the least of which is the transition in all of the House leadership positions.

There has been less of an ideological split and more of the drafters trying to understand the differing issues and impacts involved in effective dates and grandfathering for projects and for investors. As of the date of this blog, the effective date language in a new bill remains a moving target.

Most likely, any bill would have separate provisions relating to effective dates and grandfathering for projects as opposed to investors. Even though the Grassley-Leahy Bill had provisions to grandfather projects but not investors, a new bill would more likely grandfather investors rather than projects. However, it is possible that not all investors will be grandfathered; and it is possible that some projects would be grandfathered. It is possible that grandfathering could be based strictly on date of filing or possibly some other standard. There are several possibilities for the effective date — the actual date of passage of the new law; September 30; December 11; a prospective date 6 months or 1 year in advance; a retroactive date as suggested by USCIS. A date which does not grandfather all investors would be grossly unfair to investors and could result in multi-year litigation. Reportedly, the drafters of the bill are looking for a mechanism whereby some but not all projects would be grandfathered based on as yet unknown criteria. One of the criteria may be the filing of an exemplar petition prior to October 1.

So where does that leave us now? For investors, there may well be an advantage to having filed before October 1, although that is unknown at present. It remains good advice for investors to file sooner rather than later, and possibly it may be advantageous for investors to file in projects that filed exemplar petitions prior to October 1.

For projects that filed exemplar petitions prior to October 1, there may or may not be a legal advantage; but there would likely be a marketing advantage. For projects that did not file, there may or may not be an advantage to filing an exemplar petition prior to whatever effective date is included in the new bill. If Congress is looking for a way to distinguish between projects that should and should not be grandfathered, it is possible that there could be an advantage given to a project that actually has investors who have invested or filed EB-5 petitions prior to any effective date.

In summary, the failure to pass EB-5 legislation prior to October 1 keeps investors, project developers and regional centers in limbo, which is not helpful to anyone involved in the EB-5 program. Hopefully, I will soon be able to publish a blog summarizing a new EB-5 bill which will provide a long term, or preferably permanent, extension of the regional center program and which will provide a foundation for the growth of the EB-5 program many years into the future.

展开全文
  • 移民专家
  • 免费咨询添加微信ID:yimintong01
  • weinxin
  • 出国知识库
  • 添加公众号ID: chuguozhishiku
  • weinxin
移民通
  • 移民百事通,分享实用出国知识,更多内容请关注微信公众号,出国知识库 ID: chuguozhishiku
  • 免费咨询与行业渠道合作请添加微信ID:yimintong01
匿名

发表评论

匿名网友 填写信息

:?: :razz: :sad: :evil: :!: :smile: :oops: :grin: :eek: :shock: :???: :cool: :lol: :mad: :twisted: :roll: :wink: :idea: :arrow: :neutral: :cry: :mrgreen: