What is an I-924 application, and how does it affect EB-5 projects and investors?

Businesses that want to be designated as a regional center by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must submit Form I-924, Application for Regional Center Under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program. USCIS uses Form I-924 to evaluate each business and make sure that it fulfills all the requirements for becoming an EB-5 regional center. EB-5 investment projects that are sponsored by regional centers receive several benefits; for instance, they can count indirect and induced as well as direct job creation, thus making it easier for investors to reach the required number of jobs.

Form I-924 can also be used to make changes to an existing regional center’s designation or create an exemplar project. (Exemplar projects have their documentation approved by USCIS and are thus considered more trustworthy.) Businesses should keep in mind that, if they are granted regional center designation, they will need to file Form I-924A each year.

Filing Form I-924 can be a lengthy process; businesses must provide a wide variety of documentation to prove that they meet all of USCIS’s criteria. Therefore, they may need to involve accountants, economists, business plan writers, and other professionals to help them compile the necessary information.

Businesses need to provide extensive supplemental information when they submit Form I-924. For instance, they need to outline how they will do research on all funds obtained from EB-5 investors and make sure they were legally sourced. Further, businesses need to describe their promotional strategy, explaining how they will attract EB-5 investors. The applicant may need to provide a proposed marketing budget and describe its future promotional activities. Finally, the prospective regional center will need to specifically delineate the area in which it plans to operate.

After Form I-924 is submitted, USCIS will adjudicate it. USCIS may request further information about the applicant during the adjudication process.