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[Q] What is the definition of "filed" date for the purpose of timely filing a petition or application to USCIS?

Under 8 CFR 103.2(a)(7), the “receipt date” is the date on which the properly completed petition or application was actually received by USCIS, accompanied by the required filing fee.

2012/03/08 -- Operational Guidance on EB-5 Adjudications Involving Tenant Occupancy Methodology

Due to many complaints from stakeholders, USCIS today issued its Operational Guidance on Tenant Occupancy Methodology to try clarify the deference USCIS examiners should give to prior adjudications.


What if USCIS approved some I-526s for a regional center based EB-5 project, will they approve other I-526s?

How about those regional centers which were designated without going through the I-924 designation procedure?

What if the regional center application did not contain a specifically-identified project but a hypothetical or exemplar project whose parameters did not change?

[HOT] [Q] Can I and my family still get LPR status through an approved I-130 or I-140 even after I get CPR status?

[Q] Assume my family and I obtain CPR status through an EB-5 case, but we have an approved I-130 or I-140 whose priority date is not yet current. If the priority date becomes current, can we adjust at that time and obtain LPR status even though we are in CPR status?

Yes, because obtaining CPR status through an EB-5 case does not make the rights associated with an approved I-130 or I-140 immigrant petition disappear. You might have to submit a form giving up your CPR status though before you can be accorded LPR status via I-485 or IV consular processing based on an approved I-130 or I-140 immigrant petition.

[HOT] [Q] What is your take on the USCIS' recently-announced position on the "tenant-occupancy" jobs?

USCIS is saying that their newly-hired economists and examiners want more explanations and justifications from the regional center operators and/or petitioners on why tenants' employees should be counted, and that this request for additional explanations or justifications is not a change in USCIS policy but just a request for more details.

[HOT] [Q] If my I-829 gets denied, will I receive a notice of removal proceedings also known as NTA notice from USCIS?

USCIS has answered on this issue that under the USCIS regulations, after I-829 denial, the regulations mandate that NTA "shall" be issued, so they have no choice. Of course, very often, USCIS can take long time before issuing NTA.

Depending on the facts and the reason for the denial, you can win on the removal proceedings. Therefore, we encourage you to consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

[HOT] No more TEA certification letters by CA for subareas composed of contiguous census tracts?

What does the below bode for TEA certifications for CA based EB-5 projects?

Source: http://business.ca.gov/Programs/EB5Program.aspx

This certification of TEAs is a uniform letter intended to be used by all EB-5 visa applicants on the lower investment level. There will be no customized certification letters issued with the name of the investor, the description and the location of the new enterprise.

This certification of TEAs is an exhaustive list of the areas designated as TEAs by the State of California. There will be no other areas or subareas designated as TEAs. [Emphasis added.]

[Q] Can someone apply for one regional center and cover several, non-contiguous geographic areas?

No, USCIS deems that the geographic region must be contiguous. If there are several non-contiguous geographic areas in which someone wants to operate EB-5 regional centers, that person must apply separately for multiple regional centers.

[HOT] Most successful EB-5 Regional Centers?

During May 1st 2012 IIUSA EB-5 Conference held at Laguna Hills, CA, which we attended, there was one roundtable where IIUSA invited their four (4) "most successful" regional center general partners to be panelists and answer some questions from the audience. One question asked was how much EB-5 funds they raised up to now through their own EB-5 projects, and the answers went something like this:

$200 Million USD EB-5 funds
$400 Million USD EB-5 funds
$800 Million USD EB-5 funds
$1.3 Billion USD EB-5 funds

[HOT] Why can't USCIS set up a similar adjudication procedure for Regional Centers as the one for a patent application?

An experienced EB-5 practitioner informed me that he recently met a patent office examiner, and the examiner described to him how they process a patent application. Upon receipt, the patent office examiners email the applicant their name and contact info, they then have a call to discuss the case and the issues, they work to resolve the matter via email, phone and etc. Total engagement, effective two-way communications. The same experienced EB-5 practitioner practicing in Wash. D.C. then wondered why can't USCIS set up a similar adjudication procedure at least for regional center designation application, including I-924 amendment and pre-approval application?

2012/05/01 -- USCIS EB-5 Meeting summary at CSC -- our take

Update: USCIS issues a pretty lengthy and substantive Q & A document from the meeting:


This Q & A includes questions involving tenant-occupancy related job creation issues which turned out to be more restrictive than said author initially anticipated. One of the reasons why USCIS issued this lengthy Q & A document after the meeting was because many EB-5 stakeholders complained at the lack of substantive answers provided during the teleconference.

[HOT] Current EB-5 statistics released by USCIS in May 2012

In May 2012, USCIS released the most recent EB-5 statistics. You can find the PDF file at below link:


Note if a family has 3 family members who are immigrating under an EB-5 case, this means there will be 3 immigrant visas under EB-5 category allocated to and used up by the family.

[HOT] The latest on the Tenant Occupancy Jobs Issue

For a good discussion on this issue, consider reading Susan's EB-5 Blog at the below link:


As the above link illustrates, the main problem with USCIS's administration of the EB-5 Program is that they constantly shifts their positions on many important issues or do not make their positions clearly, so that stakeholders and even USCIS examiners are left confused and everyone wastes their time.

My own view on EB-5 issues at this point is that USCIS' positions should be feasible in the real world of business and explain clearly.

2012/04/27 -- Conversation with Director Mayorkas on Tenant Occupancy Methodology

We listend on this teleconference, and here's our take.

Director Mayorkas reiterated the "deference" policy of USCIS which should govern EB-5 adjudications. Many stakeholders present physically voiced their opinion that CSC examiners do not actually follow this "deference" policy, which is the problem. The deference policy basically says that USCIS will give a deference to how USCIS has adjudicated previously, unless there has been material change in facts or there is a fraud. There appears to be some confusion as to whether USCIS should give deference where there is a new project but the same repetitive investment structure has been followed.

[HOT] Don't move the goal posts after the ball has been kicked!

I like to keep things simple, mostly because the simplicity makes it easy for me to understand concepts and take necessary actions based on my understanding. Many EB-5 practitioners also believe that USCIS should do the same and keep the EB-5 Program simple, because many aspects of the EB-5 Program has now become so complex that no one, including even some of the most experienced EB-5 attorneys, do not understand many of the issues of the EB-5 law or Program. Simplicity leads to predictability, and the predictability leads to less lawsuits and a greater trust. This means USCIS cannot and should not move the goal posts especially AFTER the ball has been kicked.