United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Proposed Regulatory Reform
Dear EB-5 Stakeholder:
The following is a summary of USCIS’ proposed regulatory reform that will be published in the federal registrar on January 13, 2017. The written comment period will last until April 11, 2017.
The DHS highlights four major revisions to the EB-5 program regulations, as follows:
- Priority Date Retention. The DHS proposes to authorize certain EB-5 petitioners to be able to retain the priority date of an approved EB-5 immigrant petition for use in connection with any subsequently filed EB-5 immigrant petition. For example, it could be possible for an investor to retain his or her priority date even if the Regional Center that sponsor’s the investor’s project is terminated if the investor decides to continue the investment immigration process in connection with another EB-5 project.
- Increases to the Investment Amounts. The DHS also proposes to increase the minimum investment amounts for all new EB-5 petitioners. The non-TEA minimum investment amount will be increased from $1 million to $1.8 million. For investment in a TEA, the minimum investment is proposed to increase from $500,000 to $1.35 million, which is 75% of the non-TEA investment amount. Moreover, the DHS proposes to make regular adjustments of the minimum investment amount every 5 years.
- TEA Designations. (1) the DHS proposes to add cities and towns with a population of 20,000 or more to the types of areas that can be designated as a high unemployment area; (2) the DHS will eliminate the ability of a state to designate certain geographic and political subdivisions; instead, the DHS would make such designations directly; (3) the DHS proposes that a TEA may consist of a census tract or contiguous census tracts in which the NCE is principally doing business, or a TEA may consist of an area comprised of the census tract(s) in which the NCE is principally doing business including any and all adjacent tracts, if the weighted average of the unemployment rate for all included tracts is at least 150 percent of the national average.
- Removal of Conditions. The DHS proposes that derivative family members must file their own petitions to remove conditions on their permanent residence when they are not included in the investor’s I-829 petition to remove conditions. Additionally, the DHS proposes to improve the adjudication process, such as providing flexibility in interview locations.
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