On June 2, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released Form I-956G, Regional Center Annual Statement, and its accompanying instruction manual. This new form replaces Form I-924A, Annual Certification of Regional Center, which had been the annual report form for USCIS-approved regional centers.
While the new Form I-956G serves the same purpose as the old Form I-924A, it has significant differences. The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (the “Reform Act”) made major policy changes to the EB-5 immigrant investor program and imposes significant new requirements on participants in the renewed Regional Center Pilot Program. Regional centers must now report and certify considerably more information to USCIS following the end of each fiscal year.
Key Differences between EB-5 Regional Center Form I-956G and Form I-924A
Form I-956G asks for the total amount of EB-5 capital invested in the regional center followed by a disclosure of litigation and bankruptcy proceedings.
Regional centers submitting Form I-956G must describe its policies and procedures (“P&P”) to ensure compliance with federal labor laws, either on the form or in a separate document. Federal labor law compliance should be addressed in a regional center’s P&P document, and evidence of this would have been required for Form I-956, Application for Regional Center Designation. A best practice for regional centers is to regularly review and make updates to the P&P manual and include it as an exhibit to Form I-956G.
For each sponsored NCE, the regional center must complete Attachment 1 – Regional Center Annual Statement, which is included as pages 10 through 14 of Form I-956G. This is a much-needed improvement from Form I-924A, which had space for only a single NCE and a single JCE and no clean method to report on multiple NCEs and JCEs.
Attachment 1 to Form I-956G requests contact information for the NCE and JCE, the amount of EB-5 capital invested in the JCE, an explanation of how the EB-5 capital was spent, and the aggregate job creation. Attachment 1 also requires an attestation that the regional center has provided evidence that the EB-5 capital is fully committed to the project and that the project is making progress toward completion.
Question 19 on Attachment 1 asks if the project has had a material change during the fiscal year. Material changes are a significant concern for regional centers and immigrant investors.
Implications of Form I-956G for EB-5 Regional Centers
Much can be inferred from the design of Form I-956G. The old Form I-924A asked for lots of data: total EB-5 investment, total non-EB-5 investment, EB-5 and non-EB-5 investment by industry, job creation by industry, I-526 and I-829 actions, etc. Form I-924A requested no information to compel transparency and ensure compliance. In the wake of the Reform Act, USCIS has clearly shifted its focus. Given the weight of the new regulations and the potential consequences of non-compliance, regional center operators would be wise to be thoroughly and accurately complete Form I-956G.
EB5AN is committed to helping other EB-5 industry participants navigate the recent changes to the EB-5 program. For help filing Form I-956G, schedule a free consultation today.