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[HOT] Too many EB-5 Regional Centers for the current EB-5 market?
On June 24, 2009, the USCIS announced during a stakesholders teleconference that to date there are 49 approved Regional Centers, and there are 40 more RC applications pending. This means within 1 to 1.5 years, there probably will be close to 100 RC Programs all vying for EB-5 investor clients from around the world.
This fast rise in the number of RCs gives a misleading impression that there is a burgeoning demand for the RCs or EB-5 programs. However, especially in the current stagnant world-wide economy, I believe there are too many RCs relative to the number of potential EB-5 investors. Simply put, I believe the supply of RCs outstrips the current demand, and this state of the excess supply will continue unless the EB-5 law is changed to protect the EB-5 investors. One suggested amendment is, as stated in more detail below, to issue "permanent" green cards to EB-5 investors after their I-526s are approved, or to even allow CPR status to continue until the required job numbers have been met: In other words, do away with the I-829 procedure.
The qualified success of the RCs during last 5 years have prematurely spurred many RCs to become designated by USCIS as Regional Centers to engage in EB-5 business. Many RCs believe that there are big markets in other countries such as Latin America, India and Middle East, in addition to the traditional markets such as China, Taiwan and Korea. However, it is my opinion that without significant changes in the EB-5 law (either via statutory or regulatory changes), the demand simply isn't there to justify the current number of RCs.
The needed amendment
We strongly believe that the EB-5 law needs to be changed so that "permanent" green cards are quickly issued to investors once I-526s are approved, rather than making them wait several years after having the investors and their family members go through all kinds of hoops. This change is justified not only because it is fair to investors whose investments benefit the U.S. economy but to actually spur more job-creation. I would like to take some time to explain to American laymen why this is the case.
An alternative amendment is to allow the investors to continue their CPR status until the job numbers have been met or for a longer period, until they can get back their investment and take another stab at creating sufficient number of jobs.