The consequences of a regional center closing—whether due to bankruptcy, termination of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) designation, or some other cause—will depend on the timing of the closure relative to the investor’s progress in the EB-5 process. If the regional center closes before the I-526 petition is adjudicated, the petition is likely to be denied. If the I-526 has been approved, it could be difficult to obtain I-829 petition approval. However, if the investor can demonstrate that the necessary number of jobs have been created at the time the I-829 is filed, they may be able to obtain I-829 approval.
USCIS sees the closing of a regional center as a material change. Thus, if an EB-5 investor does not have conditional permanent residency when the regional center closes, their I-526 petition will probably be denied. This will obviously lead to waster costs and time for any applicant, but applicants who invested before the increase in minimum investment amounts may need to make new EB5 investments are the higher investment thresholds to meet the EB-5 program requirements.
According to USCIS, an EB-5 investor’s conditional permanent resident status remains valid when a regional center closes. The investor may still qualify for a permanent green card if they can demonstrate that they have met the EB-5 program requirements. Consequently, USCIS may approve an investor’s I-829 petition if the petition is pending when the regional center closes and if the investor successfully demonstrates that the new commercial enterprise created the necessary number of jobs.
The best course of action for an EB-5 investor who invested through a regional center is to consult an EB-5 immigration attorney immediately. For those considering participating in the EB-5 program, conducting due diligence is crucial, as it lowers the risk of experiencing problems related to the regional center.