The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 brought many changes to the EB-5 program. For the latest information, please click here.
The regional center EB5 program has increased in popularity significantly during the last couple of years. Perhaps this is a direct result of restrictive interpretations and quota delays in other immigration categories. But for many foreign nationals — retirees, graduating students with no jobs, employees whose employers will not sponsor them, and many others — it is not only the option of choice, but rather the only option.
At the same time, regional center EB-5 is a program that fits perfectly with the needs of our country in 2009.
- Providing capital at a time when capital is so tight
- Building infrastructure projects
- Creating employment at a time of massive unemployment
However, it is critical that both Congress and the Administration do what is necessary to make certain that this program thrives and doesn’t get relegated to the trash heap of failed government programs. My ideas for improving the program are after the jump.
- There must be a permanent or long-term extension of the regional center pilot program; short-term extensions greatly dissuade potential investors.
- Too many regional centers increase the possibility that one regional center will engage in practices that will engender negative publicity for the entire program. It is necessary that USCIS have an effective oversight and recertification program.
- It makes no sense for USCIS to readjudicate the merits of a regional center project 100 different times for 100 different investors in the same project. There needs to be a better system. How about something equivalent to a Blanket L? How about something equivalent to the certification program for universities sponsoring F-1 students or exchange programs sponsoring J‑1 exchange visitors?
- There should be a mechanism for regional centers to enter their appearance on I-526 and I-829 applications since RFEs on those applications often address issues about which the investor has no knowledge.
- Processing times of both the I-526 and I-829 applications must be reduced, and there should be a premium processing option. Major development projects are delayed and investors’ money remains idle during long processing times.
- Consistency of adjudications is critical, so that investors know what to expect. This also includes improving the business acumen of adjudicators reviewing complicated investment transactions.
- Investors not only invest large sums of money but also relocate, liquidate assets, put children in school in the U.S. and totally change their lives based upon I-526 approvals. Absent any wrongdoing by the investor, there has to be some mechanism that balances the need to make certain that the investor can have some assurance of I-829 approval while making certain that the foundations of the regional center approval (statements regarding expenditure of money, revenue generation and creation of direct jobs) actually occurs. The regional center’s econometric models regarding indirect job creation should not be readjudicated.