The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 brought many changes to the EB-5 program. For the latest information, please click here.
I attended a meeting with USCIS Director Mayorkas and USCIS staff involved with the EB-5 program on January 12, 2012. The following are highlights of the meeting:
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1. Premium Processing of I-924 Petitions
No specific implementation date was provided. The process of hiring necessary staff is continuing. Presently there are fifty people adjudicating EB-5 cases. Three economists have been hired, with three more being added. When premium processing is implemented, the intention would be that the time period would be fifteen days. It would probably apply to pending regional center applications as well as new applications, but not I-526 petitions.
2. Bundling of I-526 Petitions
USCIS has commenced bundling I-526 petitions related to a single regional center project in order to enhance consistency of I-526 adjudications.
3. Regional Center Fund Model
For the first time, USCIS is confirming that, as long as an investor’s capital is invested in a single commercial enterprise, the capital can then be deployed by that commercial enterprise in multiple job-creating entities. Although these issues are not resolved, tentatively USCIS agrees that it is not necessary to identify which of the job-creating projects each investor’s money goes into. The ultimate issue would be whether enough jobs are created by the commercial enterprise in any or all of the job-creating entities. This is still subject to further discussion and decision from USCIS.
USCIS reconfirmed that it will defer to the designation by a state of a specific geographical area as a targeted employment area.
5. Indirect Jobs Outside of Regional Center
USCIS reconfirmed that indirect jobs can qualify even if they are located outside of the geographical boundaries of a regional center.
6. Bridge Financing
There was a long discussion of bridge financing. Although the issue is still being resolved by USCIS, it appears that USCIS agrees that, if the business plan and economic report explain that the bridge financing is made available with the understanding that it will be replaced by EB-5 capital, the project can commence based on the bridge financing; and the EB-5 investors can get credit for the job creation.
7. Source of Funds
Some RFEs are requesting documentation that the currency laws of the country have not been violated. It is not clear if these RFEs will become routine.
Contact a Klasko Law attorney for further information.