More Clarification Needed from USCIS to Overcome Uncertainties Related to Impact of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act
BREAKING: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that there was no lapse in EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center authority from July 1, 2021, to March 15, 2022, and that pre-existing regional centers remain valid as of today.
USCIS also stated that entities seeking to be designated as a new regional center are required to file Form I-956, Application for Regional Center Designation.
It appears that USCIS will provide a Q&A regarding new I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur filings in the near future. WR Immigration attorneys hope USCIS provides clarification on whether new immigrant investors can file Form I-526s for investments in “exemplar approved” projects without an I-956F, Application for Approval of an Investment in a Commercial Enterprise receipt notice.
WR Immigration attorneys believe the plain language of the new EB-5 law does not require this but it’s unclear how USCIS will interpret. As such from a conservative point of view, WR Immigration recommends that regional centers submit a Form I-956F so immigrant investors have one less gray area of concern regarding this rapidly-changing new landscape of EB-5.
This time is unprecedented in EB-5 history where there are so many unknowns and uncertainty about how USCIS plans to operate the immigrant investor program. WR Immigration attorneys are hopeful that new Immigrant Investor Program Office Chief Alissa Emmel can focus USCIS’s efforts in administering a robust, predictable, and efficient residency by investment program in EB-5 that prioritizes customer support and meaningful feedback to EB-5 stakeholders.
After over a year of waiting, a new EB-5 Regional Center program has now been launched and the big difference is instead of waiting 2-3 years for a period approval, certain people lawfully in the U.S. can now file one-step concurrent adjustments and immigrant investors from China, a backlogged category, can leap to the front of the line using the new rural reserved priority processing fast track lane, and the new high unemployment/infrastructure express lanes. With these new options, people lawfully in the U.S. can file an adjustment of status and obtain an unrestricted work permit within months of filing.