Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Summary of EB-5 Investor Program Stakeholder Engagement

USCIS held a EB-5 Immigrant Investor program stakeholder teleconference today April 22, 2015 to discuss the recent EB-5 industry news including the hottest topic of EB-5 investors establishing a priority date. USCIS and EB-5 division currently has 101 employees on staff including 53 adjudicators. They hope to reach the 121 employees target level for Fy2015 and stated there is a good chance to go above their target level.  In March 2015, USCIS received 680 I-526 petitions and completed (approved or denied) over 1,100 I-526 petitions. This is the first time USCIS has completed more I-526 petitions than received.

USCIS explained they have started terminating regional centers who fail to promote economic growth in their designated areas. They have also terminated EB-5 regional centers that do not complete the annual I-924A form. The two hot topics of the teleconference call include EB-5 retrogression and loan proceeds as qualified capital from EB-5 investors. There were many questions about situations on whether loans issued to EB-5 investors would qualify as lawful source of funds in which USCIS employees did not address. The USCIS is currently drafting a policy memo now and hope to publish soon to further address indebtedness, EB-5 retrogression issues and additional topics. Other topics of discussion were long I-526 petition processing times with projects waiting 18-20 months without any response from USCIS, the ability of direct EB-5 projects to use bridge financing and approval of I-924 exemplars.  

We look forward to the release of the policy memo from USCIS. The next EB-5 stakeholder will be on June 4th, 2015. The stakeholder engagement will feature EB-5 job creation and will include discussion with USCIS economists.

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