Statutory sources -- INA


Relevant sections of the Immigration & Naturalization Act is set below in its entirety. Section 203(b)(5)(A) and (B)(i) were amended by section 11036(a)(1) and (2) of the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, Public Law 107-273, dated November 2, 2002. Also, statute governing the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program (Regional Centers) appear below. In addition, INA 216A governing I-829 conditions removal procedure appears below.

The thing that jumps out for me from the below statutory language is that essentially the EB-5 statutes requires an alien investor, for the purpose of engaging in a new commercial enterprise (including a limited partnership), to invest in a new commercial entity for the benefit of the United States and to create the requisite 10 jobs directly, or in case of Pilot Program, indirectly also. In other words, the EB-5 statutes are very liberal, and arguably the EB-5 regulations promulgated by the USCIS are ultra vires in that they unlawfully limit this broad statutory authorization to interpret the EB-5 law liberally. In a similar vein, USCIS' guidance memos often violate the EB-5 statutes and even its own regulations.

Which leads me to ask why the USCIS and the examiners do not liberally construe the EB-5 cases? Anyway, this stagnant world-wide economy will perhaps motivate the USCIS to decide more liberally. However, USCIS should amend EB-5 regulations to better comply with the liberal spirit of the EB-5 statutes, rather than issue guidance memos which often conflict with EB-5 statutes and regulations, as well as precedent decisions. Guidance memos should only clarify its regulations and procedures, not overturn established law. We would argue that USCIS' use of inconsistent guidance memos is one of the reasons why the EB-5 Program will never accomplish its purpose.

Employment creation. -

(A) In general. - Visas shall be made available, in a number not to exceed 7.1 percent of such worldwide level, to qualified immigrants seeking to enter the United States for the purpose of engaging in a new commercial enterprise (including a limited partnership)--

(i) in which such alien has invested (after the date of the enactment of the Immigration Act of 1990) or, is actively in the process of investing, capital in an amount not less than the amount specified in subparagraph (C), and

(ii) which will benefit the United States economy and create full-time employment for not fewer than 10 United States citizens or aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence or other immigrants lawfully authorized to be employed in the United States (other than the immigrant and the immigrant's spouse, sons, or daughters).

(B) Set-aside for targeted employment areas.-

(i) In general. - Not less than 3,000 of the visas made available under this paragraph in each fiscal year shall be reserved for qualified immigrants who 4/ invest in a new commercial enterprise described in subparagraph (A) which will create employment in a targeted employment area.

(ii) Targeted employment area defined. - In this paragraph, the term ``targeted employment area'' means, at the time of the investment, a rural area or an area which has experienced high unemployment (of at least 150 percent of the national average rate).

(iii) Rural area defined. - In this paragraph, the term ``rural area'' means any area other than an area within a metropolitan statistical area or within the outer boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more (based on the most recent decennial census of the United States).

(C) Amount of capital required. -

(i) In general. - Except as otherwise provided in this subparagraph, the amount of capital required under subparagraph (A) shall be $1,000,000. The Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of State, may from time to time prescribe regulations increasing the dollar amount specified under the previous sentence.

(ii) Adjustment for targeted employment areas.- The Attorney General may, in the case of investment made in a targeted employment area, specify an amount of capital required under subparagraph (A) that is less than (but not less than 1/2 of) the amount specified in clause (i).

(iii) Adjustment for high employment areas.-In the case of an investment made in a part of a metropolitan statistical area that at the time of the investment -

(I) is not a targeted employment area, and

(II) is an area with an unemployment rate significantly below the national average unemployment rate, the Attorney General may specify an amount of capital required under subparagraph (A) that is greater than (but not greater than 3 times) the amount specified in clause (I).

(D) 4/ Full-time employment defined.--In this paragraph, the term `full-time employment' means employment in a position that requires at least 35 hours of service per week at any time, regardless of who fills the position.

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Pilot Immigration Program -- Regional Center Program

Pub. L. 102–395, title VI, § 610, Oct. 6, 1992, 106 Stat. 1874, as amended by Pub. L. 105–119, title I, § 116(a), Nov. 26, 1997, 111 Stat. 2467; Pub. L. 106–396, § 402, Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1647; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title I, § 11037(a), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1847; Pub. L. 108–156, § 4, Dec. 3, 2003, 117 Stat. 1945, provided that:

“(a) Of the visas otherwise available under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1153 (b)(5)), the Secretary of State, together with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall set aside visas for a pilot program to implement the provisions of such section. Such pilot program shall involve a regional center in the United States, designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security on the basis of a general proposal, for the promotion of economic growth, including increased export sales, improved regional productivity, job creation, or increased domestic capital investment. A regional center shall have jurisdiction over a limited geographic area, which shall be described in the proposal and consistent with the purpose of concentrating pooled investment in defined economic zones. The establishment of a regional center may be based on general predictions, contained in the proposal, concerning the kinds of commercial enterprises that will receive capital from aliens, the jobs that will be created directly or indirectly as a result of such capital investments, and the other positive economic effects such capital investments will have.

“(b) For purposes of the pilot program established in subsection (a), beginning on October 1, 1992, but no later than October 1, 1993, the Secretary of State, together with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall set aside 3,000 visas annually for 15 years to include such aliens as are eligible for admission under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1153 (b)(5)] and this section, as well as spouses or children which are eligible, under the terms of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.], to accompany or follow to join such aliens.

“(c) In determining compliance with section 203 (b)(5)(A)(iii)[(ii)] of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1153 (b)(5)(A)(iii)[(ii)]], and notwithstanding the requirements of 8 CFR 204.6, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall permit aliens admitted under the pilot program described in this section to establish reasonable methodologies for determining the number of jobs created by the pilot program, including such jobs which are estimated to have been created indirectly through revenues generated from increased exports, improved regional productivity, job creation, or increased domestic capital investment resulting from the pilot program.

“(d) In processing petitions under section 204(a)(1)(H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1154 (a)(1)(H)) for classification under section 203(b)(5) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1153 (b)(5)), the Secretary of Homeland Security may give priority to petitions filed by aliens seeking admission under the pilot program described in this section. Notwithstanding section 203(e) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1153 (e)), immigrant visas made available under such section 203 (b)(5) may be issued to such aliens in an order that takes into account any priority accorded under the preceding sentence.”

[Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title I, § 11037(b), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1848, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending section 610 of Pub. L. 102–395, set out above] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 2, 2002] and shall apply to—

“(1) any proposal for a regional center pending before the Attorney General (whether for an initial decision or on appeal) on or after the date of the enactment of this Act; and

“(2) any of the following petitions, if filed on or after the date of the enactment of this Act:

“(A) A petition under section 204(a)(1)(H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1154 (a)(1)(H)) (or any predecessor provision) (or any predecessor provision), with respect to status under section 203(b)(5) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1153 (b)(5)).

“(B) A petition under section 216A(c)(1)(A) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1186b (c)(1)(A)) to remove the conditional basis of an alien’s permanent resident status.”]

[Section 116(b) of Pub. L. 105–119 provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (a)(2) [amending section 610 of Pub. L. 102–395, set out above] shall be deemed to have become effective on October 6, 1992.”]

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INA: ACT 216A - CONDITIONAL PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS FOR CERTAIN ALIEN ENTREPRENEURS, SPOUSED, AND CHILDREN

Sec. 216A. [8 U.S.C. 1186b]

(a) In general.-

(1) Conditional basis for status.-Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, an alien entrepreneur (as defined in subsection (f)(1)), alien spouse, and alien child (as defined in subsection (f)(2)) shall be considered, at the time of obtaining the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, to have obtained such status on a conditional basis subject to the provisions of this section.

(2) Notice of requirements.-

(A) At time of obtaining permanent residence.-At the time an alien entrepreneur, alien spouse, or alien child obtains permanent resident status on a conditional basis under paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall provide for notice to such an entrepreneur, spouse, or child respecting the provisions of this section and the requirements of subsection (c)(1) to have the conditional basis of such status removed.

(B) At time of required petition.-In addition, the Attorney General shall attempt to provide notice to such an entrepreneur, spouse, or child, at or about the beginning of the 90-day period described in subsection (d)(2)(A), of the requirements of subsection (c)(1).

(C) Effect of failure to provide notice.-The failure of the Attorney General to provide a notice under this paragraph shall not affect the enforcement of the provisions of this section with respect to such an entrepreneur, spouse, or child.

(b) Termination of status if finding that qualifying entrepreneurship improper.-

(1) In general.-In the case of an alien entrepreneur with permanent resident status on a conditional basis under subsection (a), if the Attorney General determines, before the second anniversary of the alien's obtaining the status of lawful admission for permanent residence, that-

(A) the investment in 1/ the commercial enterprise was intended solely as a means of evading the immigration laws of the United States,

(B) (i) 1/ the alien did not invest, or was not actively in the process of investing, the requisite capital; or

(ii) 1/ the alien was not sustaining the actions described in clause (i) throughout the period of the alien's residence in the United States; or

(C) the alien was otherwise not conforming to the requirements of section 203(b)(5) , then the Attorney General shall so notify the alien involved and, subject to paragraph (2), shall terminate the permanent resident status of the alien (and the alien spouse and alien child) involved as of the date of the determination.

(2) Hearing in removal proceeding.-Any alien whose permanent resident status is terminated under paragraph (1) may request a review of such determination in a proceeding to remove the alien. In such proceeding, the burden of proof shall be on the Attorney General to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a condition described in paragraph (1) is met.

(c) Requirements of Timely Petition and Interview for Removal of Condition.-

(1) In general.-In order for the conditional basis established under subsection (a) for an alien entrepreneur, alien spouse, or alien child to be removed-

(A) the alien entrepreneur must submit to the Attorney General, during the period described in subsection (d)(2), a petition which requests the removal of such conditional basis and which states, under penalty of perjury, the facts and information described in subsection (d)(1), and

(B) in accordance with subsection (d)(3), the alien entrepreneur must appear for a personal interview before an officer or employee of the Service respecting the facts and information described in subsection (d)(1).

(2) Termination of permanent resident status for failure to file petition or have personal interview.-

(A) In general.-In the case of an alien with permanent resident status on a conditional basis under subsection (a), if-

(i) no petition is filed with respect to the alien in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (1)(A), or

(ii) unless there is good cause shown, the alien entrepreneur fails to appear at the interview described in paragraph (1)(B) (if required under subsection (d)(3)), the Attorney General shall terminate the permanent resident status of the alien (and the alien's spouse and children if it was obtained on a conditional basis under this section or section 216) as of the second anniversary of the alien's lawful admission for permanent residence.

(B) Hearing in removal proceeding.-In any removal proceeding with respect to an alien whose permanent resident status is terminated under subparagraph (A), the burden of proof shall be on the alien to establish compliance with the conditions of paragraphs (1)(A) and (1)(B).

(3) Determination after petition and interview.-

(A) In general.-If-

(i) a petition is filed in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (1)(A), and

(ii) the alien entrepreneur appears at any interview described in paragraph (1)(B), the Attorney General shall make a determination, within 90 days of the date of the such filing or interview (whichever is later), as to whether the facts and information described in subsection (d)(1) and alleged in the petition are true with respect to the qualifying commercial enterprise.

(B) Removal of conditional basis if favorable determination.-If the Attorney General determines that such facts and information are true, the Attorney General shall so notify the alien involved and shall remove the conditional basis of the alien's status effective as of the second anniversary of the alien's lawful admission for permanent residence.

(C) Termination if adverse determination.-If the Attorney General determines that such facts and information are not true, the Attorney General shall so notify the alien involved and, subject to subparagraph (D), shall terminate the permanent resident status of an alien entrepreneur, alien spouse, or alien child as of the date of the determination.

(D) Hearing in removal proceeding.-Any alien whose permanent resident status is terminated under subparagraph (C) may request a review of such determination in a proceeding to remove the alien. In such proceeding, the burden of proof shall be on the Attorney General to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the facts and information described in subsection (d)(1) and alleged in the petition are not true with respect to the qualifying commercial enterprise.

(d) Details of Petition and Interview.-

(1) 2/ Contents of petition.--Each petition under subsection (c)(1)(A) shall contain facts and information demonstrating that the alien

(A)(i) invested, or is actively in the process of investing, the requisite capital; and

(ii) sustained the actions described in clause (i) throughout the period of the alien's residence in the United States; and

(B) is otherwise conforming to the requirements of section 203(b)(5) .

(2) Period for filing petition.-

(A) 90-day period before second anniversary.-Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the petition under subsection (c)(1)(A) must be filed during the 90-day period before the second anniversary of the alien's lawful admission for permanent residence.

(B) Date petitions for good cause.-Such a petition may be considered if filed after such date, but only if the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the Attorney General good cause and extenuating circumstances for failure to file the petition during the period described in subparagraph (A).

(C) Filing of petitions during removal.-In the case of an alien who is the subject of removal hearings as a result of failure to file a petition on a timely basis in accordance with subparagraph (A), the Attorney General may stay such removal proceedings against an alien pending the filing of the petition under subparagraph (B).

(3) Personal interview.-The interview under subsection (c)(1)(B) shall be conducted within 90 days after the date of submitting a petition under subsection (c)(1)(A) and at a local office of the Service, designated by the Attorney General, which is convenient to the parties involved. The Attorney General, in the Attorney General's discretion, may waive the deadline for such an interview or the requirement for such an interview in such cases as may be appropriate.

(e) Treatment of Period for Purposes of Naturalization.-For purposes of title III, in the case of an alien who is in the United States as a lawful permanent resident on a conditional basis under this section, the alien shall be considered to have been admitted as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence and to be in the United States as an alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence.

(f) Definitions.-In this section:

(1) The term "alien entrepreneur" means an alien who obtains the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence (whether on a conditional basis or otherwise) under section 203(b)(5) .

(2) The term "alien spouse" and the term "alien child" mean an alien who obtains the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence (whether on a conditional basis or otherwise) by virtue of being the spouse or child, respectively, of an alien entrepreneur.

(3) 3/ The term `commercial enterprise' includes a limited partnership.

FOOTNOTES FOR SECTION 216A

INA: ACT 216A FN 1

FN 1 Section 216A(b)(1)(A) and (B) were amended by section 11036(b)(1)(A) and (B) of the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, Public Law 107-273, dated November 2, 2002.

(c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by section 11036 shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act (Public Law 107-273 dated November 2, 2002) and shall apply to aliens having any of the following petitions pending on or after the date of the enactment of this Act:

(1) A petition under section 204(a)(1)(H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1154(a)(1)(H)) (or any predecessor provision), with respect to status under section 203(b)(5) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(b)(5)).

(2) A petition under section 216A(c)(1)(A) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1186b(c)(1)(A)) to remove the conditional basis of an alien's permanent resident status.

INA: ACT 216A FN 2

FN 2 Section 216A(d)(1) revised by section 11036(b)(2) of the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, Public Law 107-273, dated November 2, 2002.

(c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by section 11036 shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act (Public Law 107-273 dated November 2, 2002) and shall apply to aliens having any of the following petitions pending on or after the date of the enactment of this Act:

(1) A petition under section 204(a)(1)(H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1154(a)(1)(H)) (or any predecessor provision), with respect to status under section 203(b)(5) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(b)(5)).

(2) A petition under section 216A(c)(1)(A) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1186b(c)(1)(A)) to remove the conditional basis of an alien's permanent resident status.

INA: ACT 216A FN 3

FN 3 Section 216A(f)(3) added by section 11036(b)(3) of the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, Public Law 107-273, dated November 2, 2002.

(c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by section 11036 shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act (Public Law 107-273 dated November 2, 2002) and shall apply to aliens having any of the following petitions pending on or after the date of the enactment of this Act:

(1) A petition under section 204(a)(1)(H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1154(a)(1)(H)) (or any predecessor provision), with respect to status under section 203(b)(5) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(b)(5)).

(2) A petition under section 216A(c)(1)(A) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1186b(c)(1)(A)) to remove the conditional basis of an alien's permanent resident status.