USCIS Announces New EB-5 Regional Center Recertification Requirements and the Restart of I-526 Petition Processing

On April 11, 2022, USCIS posted significant updates to their website regarding the EB-5 visa investment program. Below is a summary of the updates and their impacts.

USCIS Processing Will Restart for Regional Center EB-5 Investors who Filed I-526 Petitions Prior to July 1, 2021, and All Direct EB-5 Investors who Filed at $500K Prior to March 15, 2022, Will be Grandfathered in Under the Previous Rules

From the USCIS Website: 

“We have resumed processing regional center-based Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, filed on or before the sunset of the previous regional center program on June 30, 2021. We will adjudicate all Form I-526 petitions filed before March 15, 2022, according to the applicable eligibility requirements at the time such petitions were filed (that is, the eligibility requirements in place before the enactment of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, Div. BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. No. 117-103) (Sec. 101 and 102). We will continue to process Form I-526 petitions under the visa availability approach, prioritizing those Form I-526 petitions for investors with an available visa or a visa that will be available soon.”

This means that USCIS will now restart the processing of I-526 petitions for EB-5 investors who joined regional center projects that have been paused since July 1, 2021. This also confirms that EB-5 investors who joined direct EB-5 projects prior to March 15, 2022, will be grandfathered in under the applicable eligibility requirements at the time such petitions were filed.

USCIS is Requiring All EB-5 Regional Centers to File a Recertification Application Prior to New EB-5 Investors Filing I-526 Petitions in EB-5 Regional Center Sponsored Projects

From the USCIS Website: 

“On March 15, President Biden signed a law that includes authority for an EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program and various implementation effective dates for the program. The program will be in effect through Sept. 30, 2027. We are reviewing the new legislation and will provide additional guidance. USCIS will provide additional information on the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, including Questions and Answers related to new filings, at a later date.”

“Congress repealed Section 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993, in the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, Div. BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. No. 117-103) (Sec. 101 and 102). Therefore, regional centers previously designated under section 610 are no longer authorized. The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 requires all entities seeking regional center designation to provide a proposal in compliance with the new program requirements, which will be effective on May 14, 2022. We will provide further guidance to entities desiring to be designated as regional centers under the new program. We are not accepting Form I-924, Application For Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program, for this purpose.”

This means that USCIS is requiring each EB-5 regional center to file a recertification application, demonstrating that the regional center is in compliance with the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, prior to accepting new EB-5 investors in regional center sponsored EB-5 projects.

Although this requirement was not explicitly written in the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, EB5AN anticipated expected this change, and the preparation of recertification applications for our regional centers is nearly completed for the upcoming May 14, 2022 reauthorization date. However, other EB-5 regional centers that are not prepared will face delays in accepting new EB-5 investors in their projects.

Schedule a call with our team to learn how EB5AN is preparing its EB-5 regional center projects to comply with the new rules. We are also happy to discuss our project documents, and investor qualifications, and connect you with an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney with a 100% USCIS approval rate.

Our regional center projects will be ready on the first day that EB-5 investors can file I-526s under our regional centers; this date is expected to be May 14, 2022, but may change based on future USCIS policy updates. We will have the required regional center documentation in place, along with the project documentation (already completed), so that our EB-5 investor clients can file their I-526 petitions as soon as possible and lock in their priority dates.

Helpful Resources for EB-5 Investors Planning to File I-526 Petitions After May 14, 2022: