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EB-5 News, Law & Developments

Timely news in EB-5 and related areas all in one place!

[HOT] SEC Complaint against one RC Program Operator

Not guilty until proven, but the charges are serious, including forgery of EB-5 project documents. One thing this case demonstrates is that some Chinese EB-5 investors -- and more importantly, some Chinese emigration consulting companies -- do not vet the projects carefully. Especially if the operator lacks good track records, you better check out the project more thoroughly.

Washington, D.C., Feb. 8, 2013 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges and an asset freeze against an individual living in Illinois and two companies behind an investment scheme defrauding foreign investors seeking profitable returns and a legal path to U.S. residency through a federal visa program.

[HOT] New Operational EB-5 Tenant Occupancy Guidance Memo Released by USCIS


USCIS could have made the Guidance Memo more clear and easier to comply, but it's not their style, I guess.

[HOT] Implementation of New USCIS Immigrant Fee Starting Feb 1, 2013

Don't you think we deserve better services from USCIS for these fees?

New fee allows USCIS to recover the costs of processing immigrant visas after individuals receive their visa packages from the Department of State abroad

WASHINGTON—On Feb. 1, 2013,U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin collecting a new USCIS Immigrant Fee of $165 from foreign nationals seeking permanent residence in the United States. This new fee was established in USCIS’s final rule adjusting fees for immigration applications and petitions announced on Sept. 24, 2010.

[HOT] Latest info on the looming Chinese EB-5 visas numbers backlog

According to Charles Oppenheim, the Chief of Visa Controls and Reporting Division at the U.S. Department odf State who spoke at a recent IIUSA conference in Washington D.C., if the current growth trajectory continues for Chines EB-5 investors investing in the EB-5 regional center program, he anticipates that the issuance of Green Cards to Chinese investors will be suspended in the second half of 2013. We definitely see the priority date waiting taking place late 2013 or early 2014.

[HOT] Tenant-occupancy issues in an actual play in a RFE

Mr. Joseph Whalen has posted his observations on a redacted RFE involving tenant-occupancy issues. We do not know how recent the RFE is, but when you read the RFE, it seems like it's getting very difficult to get a renovation or development projects involving tenant jobs, even where only indirect tenant jobs are counted, based on a rationale that these indirect/induced jobs are based on the direct tenant jobs. It seems USCIS could reject any tenant jobs (even new ones, not relocated ones) based on a rationale that there is no sufficient nexus.

[HOT] Potential issue for Chinese EB-5 cases?

A very interesting article on some potential issues for Chinese EB-5 cases. Does this article raise unfounded fears for Chinese EB-5 cases, or are these fears justified? A nicely-written article though.

[HOT] Priority 1 "fast-moving audit" review of the EB-5 Regional Center Program within USCIS?

What caused this, because as far as we know, most of the RCs are not involved in any fraud. Also, USCIS is very tough on EB-5 cases. See the article at:

Also, isn't this something that USCIS should be letting the EB-5 stakeholders know, since this audit seems to have leaked already?

[HOT] President Obama signs the 3 years extension bill of the EB-5 Regional Center Program


On Friday, September 28, 2012, the President signed into law:

S. 3245, which extends to September 30, 2015, the expiration dates of key requirements of four immigration programs administered by the Department of Homeland Security: the EB-5 Regional Center Program; the E-Verify Program; the Special Immigrant Non-Minister Religious Worker Program; and the Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program.


[HOT] Senate Passes Extension of Expiring EB-5 RC Program . . . House expected to follow.

Aug. 2, 2012 – 10:40 p.m.
Senate Passes Extension of Expiring Visa Programs
By Elham Khatami and David Harrison, CQ Staff
The Senate on Thursday passed a three-year renewal of a program that grants green cards to foreign investors and the government’s electronic workplace verification program, which are due to expire in September.

The amended version of the bill (S 3245), sponsored by Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., and Republican Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, was advanced by unanimous consent. The bill also would reauthorize two temporary visa programs for religious workers and medical graduates until Sept. 30, 2015.

[HOT] USCIS intends to create a dedicated EB-5 Program Office

But that will provide any review procedure for I-526 and/or I-829 denials. Director Mayorkas must pass the finalized version of the Policy Guidance Memo as soon as possible

Dear Stakeholder,

I am pleased to announce that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be creating a new office to oversee our administration of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program.

[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:

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.