Did you know?
Regional Center EB-5 Investors can file their I-526E petitions! No more roadblocks!
Last week, on August 25, EB-5 Industry stakeholders, consisting of a few large Regional Centers and industry advocate Invest in the USA (IIUSA), entered into a joint settlement agreement with USCIS. As a result, investors can now file their I-526E petitions. Klasko Immigration Law Partners (Klasko) co-represented the coalition of Regional Centers: EB5 Capital, CanAm Enterprises, Civitas Capital Group, Golden Gate Global, Pine State Regional Center, and IIUSA. Klasko published the settlement terms on their website as follows:
Previously Approved Regional Centers Retain Approval:
- All regional centers that were designated regional centers before the passage of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA) remain designated regional centers. This codifies and makes permanent the nationwide preliminary injunction.
- All designated regional centers must file form I-956, Application for Regional Center Designation, by December 29, 2022, if they want to continue to do business under the RIA. Previously approved regional centers can continue to proceed with filing project applications and having investors file I-526E petitions both before December 29 and while the I-956 application is pending.
Previously Approved Regional Centers May Immediately File Project Applications, and USCIS Must, thereafter Accept Investor Petitions:
- All designated Regional centers can proceed to file form I-956F for any projects for which they will be seeking investors. Investors do not have to wait for approval of form I-956F before filing their petitions.
- Form I-526E can be filed by an investor upon the occurrence of the earliest of any of the following:
- Issuance of a receipt notice for form I-956F from USCIS;
- Issuance of a lockbox notice for form I-956F from USCIS; or
- Within 10 calendar days of delivery of form I-956F to USCIS with proof of cashed check or credit card charge for the I-956F.
- USCIS will undertake “best faith efforts” to allow for lockbox notice receipts to be returned through a pre-paid returned overnight courier envelope.
- In adjudicating form I-956 applications, USCIS will give deference to its previous approval of the form I-924, regional center designation, under the prior law. If a regional center in its I-956 filing is seeking an expanded or different geographical area, deference will be given to the remainder of the I-956 application. However, the expanded regional center geographic designation will not be effective until it is approved.
- In adjudicating form I-956F for regional center projects that had previously been approved as exemplars under the prior law, USCIS will give deference to its prior approval.
- If a regional center chooses not to file form I-956 to do business under the RIA, such failure, by itself, will not be a basis to deny the I-526 investor petitions for grandfathered, pre-RIA investors in a project under the jurisdiction of that regional center.
- USCIS will engage in notice and comment rulemaking for all new EB-5 forms. The new forms and instructions will be available by December 1, 2022.
- USCIS will update its website regarding the terms of this Settlement Agreement within 21 days.
- Very importantly, for at least two years following the effective date of the initial Settlement Agreement, USCIS and representatives of the plaintiffs will meet on at least a quarterly basis to discuss the implementation of the Settlement Agreement and any modifications that may be useful to ensure the successful operation of the EB-5 regional center program.
This settlement is excellent news for the EB-5 Industry. But still, according to an article written by Anayat Durrani for EB5 Investors Magazine, prominent immigration attorney David Hirson cited the regulatory burdens imposed under the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA) as having made maintaining a regional center costly and requiring extra record keeping and reporting, “often beyond the value to some of these owners.” The result, he believes, is that many regional centers will choose not to renew their status under the RIA. The article also quotes Mona Shah reporting the sale of existing regional centers, especially in rural areas, at very high valuations.
On Friday, September 2, USCIS published in the Federal Register Form #I956K, Registration for Direct and Third-Party Promoters. They will accept comments for 60 days until November 1, 2022.
Posted by americaeb5visa on August 31, 2022