On March 1, 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sent out an email alert, informing the EB-5 industry community that it will commence the assessment of the EB-5 regional center annual fees as required by the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022. All funds will go to the EB-5 Integrity Fund, which will use the funds to provide greater USCIS oversight of EB-5 regional center operations.
EB-5 regional centers with more than 20 investors will pay an annual fee of $20,000 and those with 20 or fewer investors will pay an annual fee of $10,000. The due date of the annual fee for the 2023 fiscal year is April 1, 2023. All payments can be made online at Pay.gov.
Starting in the 2024 fiscal year, the regional center annual fee will be due between October 1 and October 31.
Below is the full text of the USCIS email alert from March 1, 2023:
Today, the Department of Homeland Security posted a Federal Register notice providing information related to the EB-5 Integrity Fund. We will use the EB-5 Integrity Fund primarily to administer the EB-5 Regional Center Program, as required by the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022. Starting Mar. 2, 2023, we will collect an annual fee from each designated regional center to finance the EB-5 Integrity Fund.
As required under the new EB-5 law, the fee is $20,000 for regional centers with more than 20 investors and $10,000 for those with 20 or fewer investors. The fee payment for fiscal year (FY) 2023 is due by Apr. 1, 2023, and regional centers must pay the fee online directly at Pay.gov, a system managed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Starting in FY 2024 (October 2023), the fee will be due at the start of each fiscal year between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31.
In addition, the filing fee for Form I-526E, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor, increased by $1,000 on Oct. 1, 2022, to incorporate the Integrity Fund fees.
We may use fees collected for the EB-5 Integrity Fund to detect and investigate fraud and other immigration crimes.
We will not impose late fees for payments that were due in FY 2023. We will start imposing a late fee, beginning October 2023, for any payments made more than 30 days later than the due date. We will announce the amount of the late penalty and the process for collecting in a future publication before we collect it or it is due.
Per the new EB-5 law, we must terminate the designation of any regional center that does not pay the fee within 90 days of the due date. Termination will not be automatic, and we will provide a notice of intent to terminate and the opportunity to prove that the fee was paid in the proper amount within 90 days of the due date before sending a notice of termination.
The EB-5 Regional Center Program makes visas available to qualified immigrants (and the eligible spouses and children of such immigrants) who pool their investments with other qualified immigrants in a “regional center” in the United States. We designate regional centers based on a proposal for the promotion of economic growth, including prospective job creation and increased domestic capital investment in their requested geographic region.
The Federal Register notice and the EB-5 Integrity Fund page explain the requirement for the fee and provide the process for how it is to be paid.