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EB-5 News, Law & Developments
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. :)
See below link:
I guess the article implies that the EB-5 Program is not working very well currently.
What does the below bode for TEA certifications for CA based EB-5 projects?
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.]
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.
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.
[HOT] EB-5 projects use the same type of job-calculation methodology as Apple did to calculate direct and indirect jobs creation
Read the below link on the recent calculation done by Apple to show the total job effects it had on the U.S. economy.
[HOT] USCIS issues an email explanation regarding "EB-5 Tenant Occupancy" related jobs and "excess demand"
On February 17, 2012, USCIS issued through USCIS Office of Public Engagement the below message regarding "EB-5 Tenant Occupancy" and "excess demand" issues. We are not certain what is exactly meant by the following language. We are also not certain why this email message was issued at all, unless USCIS/CSC wanted to provide an advance notice of numerous RFEs to come involving this issue. Will this policy be applied retroactively? Another uncertainty. I hate to be a RC operator who has to comply with all kinds of USCIS policy or interpretation changes that suddenly get issued without an advance warning! I am sure many Regional Centers are wondering what is the value of getting RC designations when USCIS can change the policies at any time.
As of Feb 1, 2012, according to the latest CSC Processing Times Report, it currently takes eight (8) months for CSC to adjudicate I-526 petition, even if no RFE is issued. This is absolutely too long, and is puzzling since the stated goal has been 3 months.
How can EB-5 projects wait that long to received capital? This kind of delay makes it very, very difficult for regional center projects to do business.
Note that if there is a RFE, it can easily take 4 months more on top of 8 months, which means the waiting time can easily reach 1 year.
Also, done with a very poor taste.
Wow, this kind of ad certainly is not going to help the Republican party.