The EB-5 Regional Center Program (“Program”) was reactivated on March 15, 2022, with the passage of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA). The RIA set forth a new process by which Regional Centers should seek designation with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
On April 11, 2022, USCIS published an update on its website stating its interpretation of the RIA to mean that all existing Regional Centers were no longer authorized and would be required to seek designation. On April 29, 2022, USCIS published a detailed Q&A clarifying that Regional Centers needed to re-apply for their Regional Center licenses by filing an I-956, a newly published form for this purpose.
The industry, and some of the key members of Congress who helped draft the RIA, strongly disagree with USCIS’ interpretation of the RIA and its decision to deauthorize existing Regional Centers and require them to apply for redesignation. One Regional Center lawsuit against USCIS has already been filed on this issue and is pending in the District Court of Northern California. Other Regional Centers, including EB5 Capital as VNIS Investment partner and RC, may also decide to bring legal action against USCIS.
Has EB5 Capital filed new I-956s to have its licenses redesignated with USCIS?
Yes. Our team had been preparing our redesignation packages in advance of the new Form I-956 becoming available based on years of experience. As soon as Form I-956 was published on Friday, May 13, 2022, our team finalized our new applications that weekend and filed the morning of Monday, May 16, 2022.
Has USCIS indicated how long these I-956s will take to be approved?
Not yet, and this is the big question we are all hoping to be answered soon.
After USCIS approves the I-956, what else needs to be submitted prior to submitting I-526 Petitions?
Our team had also been working to finalize our Project Exemplars, which need to be filed before any associated I-526 Petition can be filed. Our Project Exemplar for our current project, JF30 – Takoma Park, is finalized and will be filed as soon as our Regional Center for Washington, DC, is redesignated.
Three important items to note: first, Project Exemplars only need to be filed in order to allow I-526 Petitions to be filed, and do not need to be approved; second, USCIS will likely publish a new Project Exemplar form for Regional Centers to use; and third, Project Exemplars were optional for Regional Centers in the past but are now a USCIS requirement per the RIA.
Are past investors, who already filed I-526 Petitions prior to the RIA, affected by the latest developments?
No. USCIS stated in an alert on April 11, 2022, that the agency has resumed processing I-526 Petitions that were filed on or before the sunset of the previous Regional Center program on June 30, 2021. USCIS also stated that previous I-526 Petitioners no longer need a Regional Center to be designated in order to maintain their status in the Program.
Has EB5 Capital received any I-526 Petition approvals since the RIA passed?
Yes, the first I-526 Petition approval we received since the RIA passed occurred on May 9, 2022.
Currently, what can investors do to put themselves in a position to be able to file their I-526 Petition as soon as possible?
Investors can begin reviewing project offerings and start their source and path of funds documentation with an immigration attorney.
Does EB5 Capital have any offerings that are available for new potential investors?
Yes. Please reach out to us at [email protected] to connect with one of our Investor Relations team members.