United States: What Does Trump's Election Mean For EB-5? Actually, Probably Not That Much

In continuing our post-election series, we come to the literal million-dollar question: What effect will a Trump Administration have on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa? Some stakeholders and pundits have claimed that under the incoming administration, the Program will thrive. Some industry colleagues in private discussions have expressed great pessimism that Trump will take a more restrictionist policy given the dominance of Chinese nationals in the program and his tough talk on China. We respectfully disagree with both.

Our political crystal ball takes a more moderate approach: the EB-5 program will likely not experience great changes for the positive or the negative because of Trump. Indeed, changes to DACA, NAFTA, or the H-1B might be directly correlated with the election outcome. EB-5 won't be. If there will be change, we don't think such changes will be a result of the Trump Administration.

Here's why:

  • EB-5's problems are largely legislative, and they require legislative solutions. Congress must focus its attention on passing a budget and hopefully thereby extending the Regional Center Program. As we have discussed previously, the RC Program is scheduled to sunset on Dec. 9, and some legislators are eyeing a temporary extension to March 31, 2017. Whether this extension shall pass will be decided even before the Electoral College meets to cement Trump's victory.

    Stakeholders, however, have been advocating for additional legislative solutions for years. These include in passing reforms similar to those proposed in the Integrity Act, more visas to be awarded to investors and their families, and mandating processing times to ensure predictability. Given our Constitutional separation of powers, there is not relatively much Trump could do to improve the program without legislative amendments, and there is no present evidence that he has any inclination to push for legislative EB-5 reform.

  • Opinions on EB-5 do not cut across traditional political party lines. Trump will be a Republican President, working with a Republican-controlled Senate and House. He may be able to pass significant legislation regarding immigration issues such as mandatory E-Verify usage, given the like-minded attitude on the Right side of the political aisle. His attitudes on EB-5 are not known (even though he has used the program in his own business affairs).  In any event, EB-5 is unlikely to cleave along party lines.

    The upcoming Senate is instructive in this regard. Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has been highly critical the Program. So too has been the incoming Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Charles Schumer (D-NY) has been a staunch defender of EB-5, and he will become the Senate Minority Leader. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and John Cornyn (R-TX) will remain on Judiciary and likely continue to be pro-EB-5.

    Party affiliation, in this particular instance, does not appear to be terribly relevant. In many respects, the political EB-5 status quo has not changed as a result of the elections.  Again, we've seen no signal that the future White House will leverage the "Bully Pulpit" and take a stance on EB-5.

  • The biggest problem facing the EB-5 industry is Chinese retrogression, and Trump appears to be opposed to awarding more immigrant visas. The availability of EB-5 visas presents a major challenge for the program, given that PRC-native investors and their families face a multi-year wait to assume conditional residency because of retrogression. Although the program has been historically underutilized, 10,000 visas for investors and their families simply is not sufficient to meet present demand. More visas could be allocated, either through increased legislative allocation or perhaps through administrative action that counted only the principal investor towards the preference quota.

    Such reforms however appear unlikely to find support from a Trump Administration. His 10-point plan promises to "keep[] immigration levels within historic norms," an ambiguous platform that appears to be a nod to a more restrictionist policy. It may be a commitment to the status quo. How it will play out in the EB-5 realm remains to be seen. However, it appears reasonably clear that Trump is no fan of creating more visas, at least in the general sense.

  • A comprehensive revision to the EB-5 regulations might be one of the last achievements of a largely pro-EB-5 Obama Administration. Since President Obama took office in January 2009, the EB-5 program has experienced a renaissance. Some may argue whether this was due to economic conditions, or savvy businesspeople that saw potential in a historically underutilized program. We think a significant amount of credit is due to former USCIS head Alejandro Mayorkas, who leveraged considerable agency resources to commence stakeholder calls resulting in increased participation, transparency, and the crafting of comprehensive policy. Obama himself has addressed Select USA in an effort to augment foreign investment.

This past week, the Department of Homeland Security updated its Fall Unified Agenda to signal that EB-5 regulatory changes are anticipated to be proposed in January 2017. It remains to be seen whether these draft regulations will help the Program. Notably, however, the "Anticipated Benefits" of the anticipated rule reference key new benefits such as priority date retention, streamlining process, and improved adjudication times. Perhaps such revisions to the regulations, proposed by Obama and implemented by Trump, would help the program to thrive. We will keep you posted.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.