SKIPPACK, PA -- (Marketwire) -- 10/01/12 -- North Bay Resources Inc. (OTCQB: NBRI) ("North Bay" or the "Company") is pleased to report that the federal EB-5 Pilot Program, the funding vehicle the Company is utilizing for the Ruby Gold Project, was formally extended for another three years on Friday, September 28, 2012, when President Obama signed into law S. 3245, thereby assuring that the program will continue intact through September 30, 2015.
The U.S. Congress originally created the fifth employment-based preference (EB-5) immigrant visa category in 1990 by the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 (the "EB-5 Program") for qualified foreigners seeking to immigrate to the US by investing in a business that benefits the U.S. economy through the creation of new full-time jobs for U.S. persons. In 1992 Congress created the EB-5 Pilot Program (the "EB-5 Pilot Program") by the enactment of Section 610 of Public Law 102-395 to encourage immigration through the EB-5 Program and the implementation of EB-5 Regional Centers to facilitate new investment. Both the regular EB-5 Program and the EB-5 Pilot Program are administered by the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), a division of the Department of Homeland Security.
When Congress originally authorized the creation of the EB-5 program in 1990, as amended in 1992, the law included a sunset provision that allowed the EB-5 Pilot Program to automatically expire unless further extended by an act of Congress. Over the past twenty years, Congress has routinely extended the sunset date several times, most recently in 2009 when the sunset date was extended to September 30, 2012.
However, with 2012 being an election year, the extension of the EB-5 Pilot Program unexpectedly became somewhat of a political football inside the beltway. This introduced a great deal of uncertainty into the EB-5 market, as various factions in Congress seemed to find some political advantage in allowing, or at least threatening to allow, the program to expire. As a result, many EB-5 investors that were otherwise ready to invest became increasingly unwilling to tie up their funds in escrow until they saw whether or not the EB-5 Pilot Program would even exist past September 30, 2012. Fortunately, the US Congress authorized a three year extension of the EB-5 Pilot Program when it passed S. 3245 on September 13, 2012, and when President Obama signed it into law last Friday, it then ceased to be a cause of concern for EB-5 investors.
We are therefore pleased to report that our EB-5 funding initiative continues to move forward, and we remain optimistic that it will be completed in the very near future.
The Company notes that this is not the first time over the past year that the Company has had to contend with political headwinds where foreign investor perception of the EB-5 program's viability was concerned. In October 2011 Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), with the support of Warren Buffet, introduced a bill in the US Congress that would give a residential visa to foreign investors who purchased homes in the US for at least $500,000. While the bill was well-intended as a way to stimulate the US real estate market, it instantly became competitive with the EB-5 market. An EB-5 investment, which also requires a minimum investment of $500,000, is required to be "at-risk" and unsecured, while the Schumer proposal offered the opportunity for a foreign investor to get a visa that would be essentially risk-free, as the purchase of a house secured and virtually guaranteed their investment. This news put a chill in the EB-5 market, as some investors waited to see whether the bill had a chance of being passed. As time went on it became apparent that the bill would never reach the floor of the Senate to be put to a vote, and the EB-5 market no longer looks at it as a realistic alternative. However, much time was lost in the interim while investors stayed on the sidelines waiting to see how it played out.
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