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USCIS Updates Guidance on EB-5 Regional Center Program

USCIS has updated its Policy Manual with new guidance on statutory reforms related to regional center designation and responsibilities under the EB-5 program.

What is the EB-5 Program?

Congress created EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Under a program, investors may also qualify for EB-5 classification by investing through regional centers that USCIS designates based on proposals for promoting economic growth.

On March 15, 2022, President Biden signed the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA). The RIA created new requirements for the EB-5 immigrant visa category and the Regional Center Program. Immigrant visas are authorized under the Regional Center Program through Sept. 30, 2027. 

What is an EB-5 Regional Center?

An EB-5 regional center is an economic unit, public or private, in the United States, involved with promoting economic growth. USCIS designates regional centers for participation in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.[1] To apply for USCIS designation as a regional center, such an economic unit needs to file Form I-956, Application for Regional Center Designation.

USCIS’ Updated Guidance for the EB-5 Regional Center Program

This update incorporates into the Policy Manual (Volume 6, Part G, Investors) changes from the RIA that are related to regional center designation and responsibilities. Policy highlights are as follows:

  • Provides guidance on immigrant investor petition filing procedures, previous determinations and amendments, material changes, approvals, denials, and revocations.
  • Clarifies guidance for good faith investors following program noncompliance by a regional center, new commercial enterprise, or job-creating entity.
  • Explains the designation eligibility, documentation and evidence, adjudication, and amendment procedure for regional centers.
  • Addresses the requirements for recordkeeping, audits, annual statements, and payments into the integrity fund, as well as consequences for failure to fulfill those requirements for existing regional centers.
  • Clarifies the procedure, required evidence, adjudication, and amendment procedure for project applications. This includes site visit requirements and potential sanctions for noncompliance by a new commercial enterprise or job-creating entity.
  • Addresses the new statutory requirements for direct and third-party promoters, including registration.

USCIS anticipates making future updates to this guidance to provide additional clarifications, as needed. This updated guidance has been in effect since October 26, 2023.

For the USCIS’ original announcement, please visit here.

Disclaimer


[1] Here is the list of current approved EB-5 regional centers by state. Regional centers whose participation in the Immigrant Investor Program have been terminated by USCIS are listed on the regional center terminations page, along with information about the termination process.

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