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2012/06/22 -- Waltzing with USCIS economists on a hot summer day

Q&A Update dated July 3, 2012 from USCIS which clarifies or supplements certain unclear portions of the teleconference:


The above link contains content regarding hotel or resort development and the effect of "visitor spending" and how to calculate jobs for a hotel project and acquiring real estate and its impact on jobs creation.


[Q] Can I work for another employer after I invest? When can I get back my EB-5 money?

[Q] I would like to invest $ 500,000 and get the conditional green card. I have 2 questions I didn't find in any Faqs:

1- when I got the conditional green card for my investment, could I get hired by a US employer and do another kind of job? Example: I invest in a *** Resort project, I get my conditional green card and my SSN, after that can I be an employee of Wells Fargo and work for them?

2- when is my investment "due"? When can I get my money back? After i got my unconditional green card?


1. Being an EB-5 investor does not prohibit you from working for another US employer or staring another business.

2. The EB-5 project may have its own requirement, but generally speaking, there is no prohibition against an EB-5 investor getting his or her money back after getting I-829 approved. However, most EB-5 project requires a loan of at least 5 years for various reasons.

[HOT] CA's new policy on issuing TEA certification letters for EB-5 projects

We listened in on the teleconference, and basically, their new policy is as follows:

Links where you can find info on this new policy being implemented immediately:



Our take/analysis:

[Q] How is the phrase "sought to acquire" in context of CSPA interpreted by USCIS or DOS?

See below from a recent BIA decision regarding aged-out children under CSPA.

In summary, we conclude that an alien may satisfy the “sought to acquire”
provision of section 203(h)(1)(A) of the Act by properly filing the application
for adjustment of status with the DHS. Additionally, the alien may meet the
requirement by establishing, through persuasive evidence, that an application
he or she submitted to the appropriate agency was rejected for a procedural
or technical reason or that there were other extraordinary circumstances,
particularly those where the failure to timely file was due to circumstances
beyond the alien’s control.

DOS interprets it as a payment of IV Fee bill within one year. See:

An EB-5 Engagement with USCIS Economists announced for June 22, 2012

Engagement with Director Mayorkas and USCIS Economists
Friday, June 22, 2012, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm (Eastern)
Tomich Conference Center
111 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20529

See the below link for the full announcement and how to participate:


At this EB-5 Engagement, recently-hired USCIS economists will probably be answering many questions from EB-5 stakeholders and other economists in private practice about how USCIS believes the jobs should be counted.

[Q] Can I apply for a regional center designation in an area where there already are several approved regional centers?

Yes, there is no limit to the number of regional centers USCIS can approve within a state or city. Actually, in our opinion, USCIS should set a limit on the number of regional centers they can approve every year, due to budget and staff constaints.

Status on EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program Extension

The bottom line is this. There is some chance that this Program may be permanently authorized, but in all likelihood, the Program will be extended 3 years. When? Probably one or two weeks before the sunset deadline date of September 30, 2012.

If we were a betting man, we would bet as follows:

Extension of 3 years: 70%

Extension of 2 years: 10%

Made permanent: 20%

Our attitude on this is: Make it permanent or get rid of it. The Congress should make it permanent, so that they don't have to keep wasting time extending it. Don't they have more important things to do? Oh yeah, winning the election.

[HOT] Article on the Current USCIS Trend In Adjudicating I-829s

Written by: Stephen Yale-Loehr, Robert C. Divine, and Sonia Sujanani. Click the below link to read this educational article in its entirety.

* Posted here at the request of Stephen Yale-Loehr and upon our determination that the article is helpful.



In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Invest In the USA (IIUSA), the trade association of EB-5 immigrant investor regional centers, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) delivered 895 pages of heavily redacted I-829 requests for evidence (RFEs) and denials. In total, USCIS released parts of 167 I-829 RFEs and denials ranging from 2008 to early 2011. Most of the responses are from 2009 . . .

[HOT] Where is the long-promised EB-5 FAQ in the USCIS site?

Over one year ago, USCIS promised to develop and upload EB-5 FAQ in its EB-5 link site at www.uscis.gov, but to date, there is no such information. And still, interested people cannot obtain much needed information directly form USCIS itself.

Go here at www.uscis.gov/eb-5centers and see if you notice "EB-5 FAQ" anywhere. Nothing.

[HOT] Can direct individual (non-regional center) EB-5 case take credit for indirect jobs?

No, if you try doing so, your I-526 gets denied. Believe it or not, some inexperienced people set up a non-RC EB-5 project and tried to count indirect jobs, leading to USCIS denials.

Estimates of Job Creation from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Look at the White House's own job creation estimates. "Estimates of Job Creation from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009," Executive Office of The President Council Of Economic Advisers, May, 2009.


This goes to show you that the job estimates studies being submitted by the EB-5 regional center operators are not different from those that are being submitted by the U.S. government.

[HOT] Bipartisan Bill Introduced by Senator Leahy To Permanently Authorize EB-5 Pilot Program

What does below mean? I would say 3 years extension for sure and a decent chance at a permanent authorization of the EB-5 Pilot Program.

Leahy Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Permanently Authorize Job-Creating Foreign Investment Program

Bipartisan Bill Will Extend EB-5 Program Bringing Jobs, Investment To Vermont

May 24, 2012

WASHINGTON (Thursday, May 24, 2012) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation Thursday to make permanent the charter for a successful, job-creating immigrant visa program that has brought economic development and job growth to Vermont since 1997.

[HOT] A good article on tenant-occupancy issue

Note however that USCIS' position or counter-argument to the underlying main argument of the below article would be that their new position is not a change in the rule-making but a clarification, and therefore, they are not in violation of the APA. Some cynical EB-5 practitioners have suggested that the tactic of USCIS is to intentionally make the EB-5 policies unclear so that people will have a hard time suing and winning federal lawsuits filed against USCIS. Not a bad idea. :)


[HOT] Article on 10 ways to make the EB-5 Program Work

See below link:


I guess the article implies that the EB-5 Program is not working very well currently.

[HOT] Congress should discontinue the 10 jobs requirement for EB-5 cases

More I gain experience and understand the EB-5 requirements and the real-world issues related to these EB-5 requirements, the more I am convinced that the 10 jobs (new full-time positions) creation requirement is an unrealistic and short-sighted requirement that should be discontinued immediately. [Note this would require the Congress to change the EB-5 law, since USCIS does not have the authority to change the statutory requirement; therefore, I wish to make it clear that my complaint is not with USCIS but with the short-sighted Congress in this matter.] My arguments for the discontinuance by the Congress is as follows: