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EB-5 News, Law & Developments
Timely news in EB-5 and related areas all in one place!
In our opinion, it is not possible to eliminate the risks completely (or even 90%) even though a very detailed due diligence has been conducted due to following reasons:
1. The underlying job-creating business can always fail.
In case anyone is wondering what USCIS is doing in response to the comments it received on the December 11, 2009 Neufeld Memo, USCIS recently stated as follows:
18. December 2009 Neufeld Memo
Question: Status update on USCIS review and response to the comments submitted by EB-5 stakeholders regarding the December 2009 Neufeld memo. Even if all comments and revisions are not yet resolved, whether those that are can be released to the public?
Response: USCIS is currently reviewing the December 11, 2009 comments and will post revised guidance for public comment upon conclusion of this review.
A good opinion piece on E-2 and EB-5 alien investors.
But the above article misses one sad but true fact: that USCIS is more of an enforcement agency, not an agency interested in creating jobs. From my experience, I feel that USCIS is not interested in helping USA create jobs or improve its economy.
Basically, USCIS is telling relatively rich investors who want to send their children to learn, work and live in the United States "We don't want you." Pretty soon, they will not want to come to the good old USA, and by that time, many Americans will be leaving USA also.
You might be interested in the below message from USCIS Director Mayorkas on his proposed changes to the EB-5 processing. The below message shows that Director Mayorkas is definitely interested in making improvements to the EB-5 Program, and hopefully, the rest of USCIS officials will support him.
For the link of the Proposal itself, see: http://www.uscis.gov/USCIS/Outreach/Feedback%20Opportunities/Operartiona...
Message from Director Alejandro N. Mayorkas on Proposed Changes to EB-5 Processing
May 19, 2011
Senators Kerry and Lugar have introduced a new EB-6 Visa bill in Congress called The StartUp Visa Act of 2010.
EB-6 Visa would amend immigration law to create a new EB6 category for entrepreneurs who can invest at least $250,000. Summary of the new bill is as follow
Entrepreneur must find funding (US Investor) for $250,000
Get 2 Years Visa
After 2 Years
Create atleast 5 Full Time Jobs
Attracted $1 million in additional investment capital or achieved $1 million in revenue
Green Card would be approved after that.
In theory, EB-6 looks fills a definite need, but there still are many issues which will be examined.
Service Centers Operations recently released a presentation on how and when to contact service centers regarding various cases.
The New Proposal can be viewed as containing only good changes to speed up I-924 amendment or pre-approval process for "actual, shovel-ready" projects. Not necessarily. The New Proposal can also be viewed as an effort to retroactively change some issues which USCIS sees as "problematic". The problem with this New Proposal is that it may applied "retroactively", rather than going forward. This raises an issue of fundamental fairness issue that is common to every USCIS policy memos in the area of EB-5 Program. Like we said before, we really do not care when USCIS makes changes to both substantive and procedural aspects of EB-5 law disguised as USCIS guidance memos.
USCIS Improves Delivery of Immigration Documents through Secure Mail Initiative
May 2, 2011
WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has fully implemented the Secure Mail Initiative (SMI), which uses U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation to deliver certain immigration documents in a safe, secure and timely manner.
Made possible by a partnership between USCIS and the USPS, the SMI enables USCIS to confirm delivery of permanent resident cards and documents pertaining to travel and employment authorization. With USPS tracking information, USCIS customers can easily stay up-to-date on the delivery status of their documents and USCIS can confirm that these essential documents were delivered to the proper address.
We hear from EB-5 practitioners that CSC is issuing more RFEs asking for more detailed evidence of lawful source documents. It appears that CSC is becoming tougher on this issue.
This is another avenue at their disposal to reduce the approval rates. Basically, CSC can always control the approval rate by becoming more strict in what they require for lawful source documents, so that even Bill Gates may not be able to supply sufficient lawful source documents.
A recent article on delays on I-526 adjudications -- simply not acceptable
If USCIS cannot adjudicate I-526s within 4 months, there is a problem, because EB-5 filing fees generate a lot of revenues for USCIS.
As we keep on saying here, either make the EB-5 Program better or get rid of it!
December 21, 2010 USCIS Policy Guidance Memo regarding I-131 advance parole and Employment Authorization Document issuance in connection with I-485 adjustment application.
To permit issuance of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), Form I-766, with an advance parole endorsement.
On March 17th, 2011, Senator Leahy introduced a bill (S. 642) in the Senate to make the EB-5 Pilot Program (which includes Regional Center Program) permanent.
On Thursday, Leahy introduced legislation in the Senate to permanently authorize the program. Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over the program.
The very short text and status of this Senate bill S.642 can be found at:
This short Bill is copied in its entirety below.
To permanently reauthorize the EB-5 Regional Center Program.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
Regional Center Data:
There are currently 125 approved Regional Centers (RCs), operating in 36 states, including the District of Columbia and Guam.
A complete list of approved RCs is also available online at http://www.uscis.gov/eb-5centers.
Approximately 90-95% of the individual Form I-526 petitions filed each year are filed by Alien Investors who are investing in RC-affiliated commercial enterprises.
There are 156 initial RC Proposals, as well as 34 RC proposals seeking to amend approved RCs, pending initial review with USCIS.
You must notify USCIS as follows, per a recent notice by USCIS:
Beginning March 15, 2011 all Change of Address, (Form AR-11) and Alien’s Change of Address, (Form AR-11 SR) will change filing locations. Now, you must file all change of address forms at the following address:
Harrisonburg File Storage Facility
1344 Pleasants Drive
The current expiration date for the EB-5 Regional Center Program is September 30, 2012, which is around 18 months away. Many people are working on making the EB-5 Regional Center Program a permanent immigration program.
We will keep you informed in this section as we hear any progress on this effort. Almost certainly, the program will be extended either 3/5 years or made permanent.