Apr
    24

    Register For Next Week’s Webinar – EB-5 Retrogression: What does it mean for your business? (4/30, 3:00pm EST/12:00pm PST)

    Panelists (Click Photos For Bios):
    Cynthia J. Lange
    Partner, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP
    Carolyn S. Lee
    Partner, Miller Mayer LLP
    David Morris 
    Co-owner, DC Regional Center; Partner, Visa Law Group PLLC 

    EB-5 Retrogression: What does it mean for your business?
    When: Thursday April 30, 2015
    Time: 3:00 PM EST/ 12:00 PM PST*

     
     
    *Note: Registration will be cut-off  the day of the webinar at 1:00pm est. 
    Topic: On April 13, 2015, at IIUSA’s EB-5 Advocacy Conference in Washington D.C., the U.S. Department of State reported that the EB-5 visa category will retrogress for Chinese applicants beginning May 1, 2015. A cutoff date of May 1, 2013 has been imposed, which
    means that as of May 1, 2015 only investors who filed their I-526 before May 1, 2013 can move
    forward to the next step (immigrant visa via the National Visa Center and U.S. consulates
    abroad, or adjustment of status in the U.S.).
    The onset of retrogression and procedural changes to the issuance of visas will have widespread implications for investors, investment entities and for the USCIS policies that govern how the EB-5 Program functions.
    Join our expert panel on April 30th for a webinar to explore what the EB-5 visa retrogression means for your clients and your business.

    ALL ACCESS PASS – ALL WEBINARS, VIDEO RECORDINGS, & MORE
    Read more about the All Access Pass here!

     

    IIUSA’s 2015 All Access Pass

    (Members-Only) 
     
    $1,200
    valid through 12/31/15
    • Registration for all IIUSA monthly webinars
    • Access to a growing library of EB-5 content including past webinars (which now total 13 webinars)
    • Conference video (3 conferences from 2013/2014 including 35 panels)
    • Up to date EB-5 Economic Impact Reporting (2010-2011 and 2012 reports)
    • Raw data (FOIA disclosure) including USCIS adjudication data and Department of State visa statistics broken by country of origin.

    Additions in 2015 include:

    • I-829 RFE/Denial spreadsheet
    • Regional center “data tracker” spreadsheet, in which contains data points for all approved Regional Centers including I-526 & I-829 approvals
    • NOITs (Notice of Intent to Terminate) and final termination notices for all terminated regional centers
    • Notices/reports of SEC enforcement actions against USCIS-approved Regional Centers

    UPCOMING WEBINARS – REVIEW THE 2015 WEBINAR SCHEDULE!
    Going Global: The Importance of Diversifying the EB-5 Investor Marketplace
    May 28, 2015 
    When analyzing U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjudication data, and Department of State visa usage by country, there are several growth markets in Asia, Europe and Latin America that are becoming more important for the EB-5 industry.
    This panel, which includes several members of IIUSA’s Investor Markets Committee, will examine several macro-trends affecting global EB-5 investment while also taking a more nuanced look into what motivates potential investment by immigration participants more broadly from other areas of the world.


    Best Practices: Working with Sales Intermediaries in an EB-5 Transaction

    June 25, 2015

    Since 2014, IIUSA’s Best Practices Committee has been hard at work developing recommendations around working with sales intermediaries in an EB-5 transaction due to the essential – and complex – nature of this aspect of marketing an EB-5 offering to investors overseas.Whether the intermediary is a foreign migration intermediary, law firm or FINRA-licensed broker-dealer, it is important that the project sponsor conduct proper due diligence on their prospective partners and work constructively with that entity throughout their engagement.
    Banking & EB-5: Understanding the Roles of a Bank in EB-5 Transactions

    July 30, 2015 

    Banking institutions and financial services providers play a pivotal role throughout the EB-5 process in managing risk for the investors and project.This webinar will take assess the important role of a bank in EB-5 transactions while also taking reviewing the various escrow arrangements and financing options that developer and regional center entities are utilizing to break ground on EB-5 projects.
    SPONSOR THE 2015 IIUSA WEBINAR SERIES
     

    Sponsor three webinars (one quarter) in 2015 of IIUSA’s acclaimed webinar series, featuring topics from across the EB-5 Regional Center industry landscape. Sponsorship includes company logo/link featured on the webinar registration page, designation of series title-sponsor in IIUSA member only communications, opportunity to welcome attendees at the beginning of each webinar, additional exposure through IIUSA’s “OnDemand.” Associate your company with IIUSA and industry best practices by sponsoring IIUSA’s 2015 webinar series!

    Quarters three and four are still available!

     

    This opportunity is available only to IIUSA members. To learn more, click here.
    Apr
    21

    RCBJ Retropective: NASAA Simplifies Blue Sky Form D Filing Process

    blue sky
    NASAA Simplifies Blue Sky Form D Filing Process (Volume 3, Issue 1, March 2015, Page 13)

    by Robert Ahrenholz, Associate, Kutak Rock, LLP, Denver and Mariza McKee, Associate, Kutak Rock LLP, Chicago

    Late last year, the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) introduced the Electronic Filing Depository (“EFD”), a new electronic filing system that facilitates Form D blue sky filings with states participating in the program. The EFD program provides a one-stop mechanism for EB-5 issuers to submit electronically blue sky Form D notice filings and filing fees to participating states rather than continuing to file hard copies with each individual state along with the corresponding filing fees.

    EB-5 issuers must comply with both federal and states securities laws in their offerings. An EB-5 issuer will be exempt from potentially burdensome state review of its offering if it makes the offering under the exemption from federal registration available under Rule 506 of Regulation D, and files copies of the Form D that it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in states where securities are being sold. In the past, this procedure required the filing of a hard copy Form D and filing fees.  In addition to these existing Form D requirements, the SEC has proposed amendments to Regulation D and Form D which, if adopted, would substantially increase the number of Form D filings required to be made in connection with Regulation D offerings. With the recent introduction of the EFD program, EB-5 issuers, except in certain states as described below, now can make one online Form D filing with NASAA under the EFD program to satisfy state filing requirements under both the existing and, if adopted, the proposed amendments to Regulation D.

    The EFD program makes the filing process easier and more efficient not only because of the establishment of a central repository where only one electronic filing need be made, but also because the many participating states have now standardized their filing requirements, which were previously inconsistent.  For states participating in the EFD program, this issue has been eliminated.  Currently, the states participating in the program include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    The EFD program is only a first step by NASAA to make blue sky and other filings easier; however, there are also drawbacks that issuers must consider.

    Increased Cost – To participate in the EFD program, issuers are required to pay to NASAA a one-time $150 filing fee for each offering.  The fee, which covers the initial Form D filing and any amendments thereto, is in addition to the filing fees charged by the relevant states and it is paid to the NASAA depository.

    State Participation – At last count, as indicated above, only 37 states have opted to participate in the program.  For offerings in those states not participating, traditional hard copy filings will continue to be required.  In addition, certain states will allow issuers to continue to file Form Ds in hard copy at their option, while also allowing EFD electronic filings.

    Form D Filings Only – The EFD program currently allows only Form Ds to be filed in connection with Rule 506 offerings.  If a state agency requests additional documents to be filed, those documents would continue to be filed in hard copy with the requesting state.  In addition, some states also require the filing of information outside of the information provided on Form D, such as supplemental information or consents to the service of process and, for now, such information will continue to be filed in hard copy with such states.

    NASAA anticipates that the program eventually will be expanded to accommodate other state registration and notice requirements for other SEC exemptions.

    RCBJ Retrospective articles are reprinted from IIUSA’s Regional Center Business Journal trade magazine. Opinions expressed within these articles do not necessarily represent the views of IIUSA and are provided for educational purposes.

    Apr
    20

    2015 Q1 Media Review (Jan. – April): EB-5 is Working

    This week, we recapped EB-5 media coverage from the first quarter of 2015. Below are a handful of articles from the preceding three months that show how EB-5 is working for America.

    “Today, more than 150 well-paid workers are manufacturing raw carbon fiber for BMW’s electric cars in the ASPI Technology Park in Moses Lake – an example of how EB-5 can aid job creating, as it was intended to do…”
    “You’re getting dollars into rural communities that otherwise would have a slim to no chance of attracting traditional bank financing because the risks are perceived to be too high… This is a program that in my opinion is a win-win. It’s a win for the investor. It’s a win for the US economy.”

    - Kim Foster,  Aero Space Port International Group Regional Center (ASPI) attorney 

    “I think the EB-5 program is very good. I am glad to see the state put continued controls. I think most states think of Vermont as a place they should copy because we do keep such strict controls. The governor is now adding even further financial ones which is good. We have a group of both Republicans and Democrats senators who are joining me on expanding EB-5 and we are using Vermont and Vermont’s controls as a way to do it.”

     

     -Patrick Leahy, (D-VT), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee

     

    “EB-5 is economic development… I think it means good things for the area. In our market it’s going to be great for us for long-term sustainability.”

    - Tom Morrison, America EB-5 Group 

    “It’s always capital that is the stumbling block for the success of small business n the reservation… The EB-5 program gives us the opportunity to receive capital and the business acumen from foreign investors. This is a great program to be a part of…Unfortunately, the Americans don’t invest in Native American, so we’ve had to find other ways to do it, EB-5 was one of the easier ways to get things started.”

    - Ben Shelly, President of the Navajo Nation

    “Investors, dreamers, people that come to our great universities, all these people should be welcomed in the country”
    - Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL)

     

    “Our nation has always been at its strongest when we attracted the best and breightest minds to help build and invest in our economy. The EB-5 visa program is an important tool that brings innovation and investment to the United States, and this bipartisan bill will improve and make permanent the program so that foreign investment and talent will continue to flow into our businesses, and strengthen our economy. This bi-partisan, pro-investment, pro- growth and pro-jobs bill is one piece of the legislative solution to reform legal immigration.”
    - Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO)
    Apr
    17

    RCBJ Retrospective: $826 Million Foreign in Foreign Direct Investment – Another Record Breaking Quarter for the EB-5 Program Contributions to the U.S. Economy


    ylee$826 Million Foreign in Foreign Direct Investment – Another Record Breaking Quarter for the EB-5 Program Contributions to the U.S. Economy (Volume 3, Issue 1, March 2015, Pages 27-30)

    By Lee Li, IIUSA Policy Analyst

    After experiencing unprecedented growth in fiscal year (FY) 2014, how will the EB-5 Program (“the Program”) perform in the new fiscal year?  The latest data published by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have provided us a clear answer: the EB-5 Program is continuously growing and has contributed more than $820 million in pure foreign direct investment (FDI) to the U.S. economy within just one quarter. This is more than $9 million in capital investments injected into various projects that promote regional economic development every single day.

    According to USCIS, more than 2,900 I-526 petitions were received during the first quarter (Q1) of FY2015, 1,652 I-526 petitions were approved, and more than 13,000 I-526 petitions are still pending in USCIS’ Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO). Compared to Q4 in FY2014, the number of I-526 recipients decreased by 9%, while the number of I-526 approvals increased by 50%. Unfortunately, the number of I-526 pending grew by 9% from the last quarter.

    To illustrate the demand trends for the Program in a different perspective, Figure 2 compares the I-526 statistics in the first quarter of FY2013, FY2014, and FY2015. It shows the first quarter in FY2015 had the highest amount of both I-526 recipients and I-526 approvals with the least number of I-526 denials among the first quarters in the past three fiscal years.

    Moreover, the I-526 data demonstrates another trend that the Program is fulfilling its commitment to promote economic growth in U.S. communities. Figure 3 shows that $826 million in FDI was generated by the Program in the first quarter of FY2015, which was a significant increase by $326 million from last quarter in FY2014. In addition, it is the great-est amount of capital that the Program has brought to U.S. economy within one single quarter since the Program started in 1990.

    Additionally, based on USCIS’ latest I-829 petitions data set, the number of I-829 recipients was 810 in the first quarter of FY2015, which decreased by 17% from the fourth quarter in FY2014. The number of I-829 approvals dropped by 89% from last quarter to just 69 in Q1, 2015. In contrast, there are more than 3,000 I-829 petitions pending in USCIS, which increased by nearly 50% from Q4, FY2014. One additional data point that is worth mentioning is that not a single I-829 petition was reported as denied in Q1, 2015.

    In the year-to-year comparison for the first quarter I-829 data from FY2013 to FY2015, Figure 5 indicates a substantial growth of the number of I-829 receipts, which indicates an increasing amount of EB-5 projects have not only successfully created sufficient American jobs year-to-year but also opened the door for foreign entrepreneurs to reach their dreams of immigrating to the United States.

    In addition, quarterly approval rates for I-526 and I-829 petitions are also valuable statistics that shed light on the latest trends of EB-5 adjudication. Figure 6 demonstrates the approval rate for I-526 petitions was 93% in Q1, 2015, which was higher than the overall average approval rate for I-526 petitions of 81.7% since FY2013. As for I-829 petitions, the approval rate in the first quarter of FY2015 was 100% due to no I-829 petition being denied from USCIS.

    Although USCIS does not release any data sets for I-924 petitions about approved Regional Centers, IIUSA diligently collects this data via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and has been tracking the trends of the EB-5 Regional Center industry. Recently, IIUSA added to its All-Access Pass (AAP) three new comprehensive data reports including the designation data for all approved Regional Centers, market share data in the EB-5 Regional Center industry, and the Final Termination Letters and Notices of Intent to Terminate of all terminated Regional Centers.

    Particularly, the Regional Center Designation Data Report provides valuable data points for EB-5 Regional Center stakeholders. Figure 8 illustrates that the average processing time of a Regional Center application has been decreasing from the peak of nearly 600 days in FY2011 to about 170 days in FY2014. Also, Figure 9 shows state of California ranks first in terms of Regional Center approved geography, to which 19% of all Regional Centers get approved to conduct business, while the second place is Florida. In addition, as Figure 10 in-dicates, 18% of all approved Regional Centers utilize the RIMS II economic model for their business. The complete report along with a substantial amount of well-organized data sets are available through IIUSA’s AAP.

    RCBJ Retrospective articles are reprinted from IIUSA’s Regional Center Business Journal trade magazine. Opinions expressed within these articles do not necessarily represent the views of IIUSA and are provided for educational purposes.

    quarterlystats

     

    quarterly2

     

    f3

     

    q36

     

    q38

     

    q39

     

    f7

     

    f8

     

    prt

    Apr
    15

    IIUSA Submits Questions in Advance of 4/22 USCIS EB-5 Stakeholder Engagement

    Invest In the USA (IIUSA), the industry trade association for the EB-5 Regional Center Program (the “Program”), with over 260 Regional Center members that account for well over 95% of the capital flowing through the Program, recently submitted a list of 17 questions to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office of Public Engagement in advance of the April 22nd EB-5 Stakeholder Engagement.

    This engagement is part of ongoing efforts by the USCIS EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO) to enhance dialogue with EB-5 stakeholders. During the first part of the engagement, USCIS will provide EB-5 program updates. The second part will be a question-and-answer session.
    See below for the full list of questions proposed by IIUSA. To view the questions in PDF format, click here.

    Statistics

    1. Please provide the most recent quarterly statistics for:

    a. Form I-526 received/approved/denied/pending.

    b. Form I-829 received/approved/denied/pending.

    c. Form I-924 Regional Center proposals received/approved/denied?

    d. Form I-924 Regional Center amendments received/approved/denied?

    e. How do these statistics compare to the preceding four quarters?

    f. How many Regional Center proposals are pending?

    g. How many Regional Center amendments are pending?

    2. Please list the processing times for the following EB-5 related Forms and how the times compared to target processing times.

    a. Form I-526

    b. Form I-829

    c. Form I-924 for new Regional Centers

    d. Form I-924 for amendments to Regional Centers

    3. How many questions are currently pending in the EB-5 e-mailbox? What is the average response time for these inquiries?

    4. How many adjudicators currently work on EB-5 related petitions?

    5. What other personnel changes have been made at the USCIS Investor Program Office (IPO) since the last stakeholder engagement?

    Administrative
    6. What are the major goals for the EB-5 unit in 2015?

    7. What is the plan to address the backlog of over 13,000 I-526 petitions?

    8. Does USCIS operate in teams by Regional Center for adjudication purposes? In other words, do you have the same adjudications team and economists review I-526 petitions filed through a particular Regional Center?

    9. How much is the Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) being used for the EB-5 Program?

    10. To what extent does USCIS share information with other agencies, particularly the SEC, Commerce, Treasury, and other relevant federal agencies? Does USCIS have a formal or informal memorandum of understanding with those agencies or any others regarding EB-5 cases or issues?

    If so, could those memoranda be made public?

    11. What is the status of the Department of Commerce economic impact study on the EB-5 Program?

    12. How often is the “Special Review Board being utilized?

    13. What is the status of USCIS drafting new regulations for the EB-5 Program, as described in the USCIS response to the recent Office of Inspector General (OIG) report on the EB-5 Program?

    14. How many Notices of Intent to Terminate (NOITs) have been issued this fiscal year to date?

    Policy
    15. What is required to “maintain investment” for I-829 purposes? More specifically, can USCIS devise a policy that allows successful projects to be sold or refinanced (i.e., not have to miss out on  an attractive liquidation opportunity) before the end of conditional residence of EB-5 investors?
    This is particularly important for if/when there is “retrogression” of EB-5 visa availability.

    16. Is it ever OK for Regional Centers or other stakeholders to utilize the USCIS logo? If so, what are those circumstances and what are the consequences for inappropriate use?

    17. When will draft guidance on policy issues that arise from EB-5 visa retrogression going to be made available for public comment?
    Apr
    13

    “Tweet” along with IIUSA at the EB-5 Advocacy Conference Today Through Tuesday!

    eb5 is working

    The 8th Annual IIUSA EB-5 Regional Economic Development Advocacy Conference begin last evening and continues through Tuesday April 14th. To follow the action, tweet the conference slogan: #EB5isworking.

    Next week, we will highlight the best tweets on the blog.

    For a full list of speakers, and to experience the mobile app from your computer, click here.

    Apr
    10

    2015-2016 IIUSA Committees: Final Call For Member Interest in Serving

    As the 10th Annual IIUSA Membership Meeting and 8th Annual EB-5Advocacy Conference draws near, we are reminded of the importance of IIUSA’s committee structure and how these committees are the starting point for the formulation of Association policies and procedures.

    In the past twelve months, IIUSA has formed several new committees, include Banking, Compliance, Investor Markets and Technology, to advance Association initiatives of strategic importance. The growth in the number and scope of our committees is a testament to the organization’s growth and the member support needed to shape the EB-5 industry. To view all 2014-2015 committee recommendations and reports visit iiusa.org/membershipmeeting2015.

    A full listing of each IIUSA committee, along with their respective charter, can be found below. IIUSA committees convene on a monthly basis and report to the membership at the annual membership meeting in Washington, DC each spring.

    If you are interested in serving on an IIUSA Committee, please carefully review the Committee Participation and Policy Agreement and fill out the Committee Interest Form.

    *The last day to submit your interest is Friday April 10th. Only IIUSA members can serve on Association Committees.

     

    2015-2016 IIUSA Committees

    Association Building – Lead IIUSA’s outreach to interest groups whose members are benefiting from the EB-5 Regional Center Program and are natural strategic partners in advocacy, education, and/or otherwise.

    Banking – Establish an industry-leading voice for the growing banking constituency in the EB-5 Regional Center industry through by developing educational materials and best practices for banking
    services that intersect with EB-5 related transactions (escrow, bridge (or other) loans, fund administration, return of capital, etc.).
     
    Best Practices – Develop recommended industry best practices that align the interests between investor, project, and Regional Center to the greatest extent possible by contributing to a transparent and informed marketplace that is defined by the highest degree of professional behavior.

    Compliance – Proactively seek out market intelligence to inform IIUSA of current trend drivers, while contributing to market transparency by making potentially aggrieved parties aware of IIUSA’s industry code of ethics policies and enforcement processes to address unethical behavior in the marketplace.

    Editorial – Curate IIUSA’s industry-leading quarterly magazine, the Regional Center Business Journal (and other select publications), by providing essential input into the industry data collection/analysis process and carefully considering submissions for publication on various communication platforms.

    Investor Markets – Track how world events are driving EB-5 investor market demand around the world and report through IIUSA’s various communication platforms, while also providing essential input into IIUSA’s market research efforts that empower member marketing decisions.

    Membership – Improve IIUSA’s value proposition to members through consistent benefits analysis, recommending new programming, and leading outreach efforts to desirable new members. Also facilitate feedback loop between leadership and membership.

    International Subcommittee: Recruit desirable new members based outside of the United States, while leading efforts to develop partnerships with international governmental entities and interest groups.

    Public Policy – Consider public policy issues, both proactively and reactively, while developing and recommending industry positions for IIUSA’s advocacy and government affairs activities.

    Public Relations – Provide ongoing input to IIUSA public affairs strategy and its implementation, while assisting with outreach efforts to members and media alike.

    Technology – Lead IIUSA efforts in understanding members technology needs, delivering empowering, cutting-edge industry technology tools to members, and optimizing all facets of IIUSA’s existing web presence.
    Apr
    09

    RCBJ Retrospective: 2014 USCIS EB-5 Adjudicator Training Materials


    suzannel2014 USCIS EB-5 Adjudicator Training Materials (Vol. 2, Issue 4, December 2014, Pgs. 36-37)

    By Suzanne Lazicki, Lucid Professional Writing

    What do we have?

    Through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, IIUSA has obtained copies of materials used in a training program for new personnel at the USCIS Investor Program Office (IPO) in April 2014. The 502 pages of slide presentations and handouts introduce USCIS and the EB-5 program, describe and interpret statutory and regulatory requirements, and teach guidelines and procedures for file review.

    What’s new?

    The April 2014 materials indicate that USCIS has significantly revised and expanded its EB-5 training since 2011, the date of the last set of EB-5 training documents released via FOIA request.

    • Regional Center Adjudication: The 2014 training program has six modules plus a two-week practice period dedicated to Regional Center adjudications, as compared with four Regional
      Center-focused modules in 2011 and two in 2008. The 2014 presentations take care to distinguish how investment and job creation requirements apply in Regional Center cases and direct EB-5 cases.
    • Economist Training: While the 2011 EB-5 training program introduced a short session on economic analysis, the 2014 program devotes a full day to economist training. The materials for economist training define the role of economists in the adjudication process, explain typical Regional Center investment structures, define business plan credibility, discuss economic model job verification, and describe how economic models and multipliers work. The training materials feature a template for economist due diligence review, including lists of questions to ask of Regional Center applications, business plans, and economic impact analysis. They also address issues related to expense eligibility, construction cost evidence, tenant occupancy, hotel visitor spending, and I-O model misuse.
    • Collaboration: The 2014 training materials reflect a commitment to interagency and intra-agency collaboration. The program begins with a day of presentations that describe the mission and organization of DHS and USCIS as background for the Investor Program Office, and that place EB-5 within the wider context of immigrant and non-immigrant visa programs. The presentations emphasize the importance of USCIS cooperation with Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as with strategic partners such as the State Department and FBI. Collaboration within the Investor Program Office is encouraged through an information sharing intranet. This “Electronic Com-munications Network” allows employees to search for documents and ask and answer questions such as “What is the dress code policy?” (FAQ section), “What organization has authority to designate TEAs for a given state?” (TEA Designation Letters section), “Where can I find previously approved exemplar documents associated with my petition?” (Exemplar Organizational Documents section), and “Where can I find the documents and decision and adjudicator associated with a given case number?” (Case Adjudication Section). This intranet apparently makes case information readily available to all staff and facilitates knowledge-sharing among employees.
    • Fraud Prevention: In describing each EB-5 requirement, the 2014 training materials take care to give examples of red flags and to instruct trainees on proper procedures for dealing with deficiencies, derogatory evidence, and signs of fraud.
    • Restraint: While encouraging vigilance, the 2014 training materials also emphasize that USCIS evaluation must be restrained by procedures and guidelines. The presentation on burden and standard of proof is placed early in the training program and significantly expanded from previous years. In subsequent presentations, descriptions of regulatory requirements and appropriate types of evidence are often followed by a reminder to trainees not to impose additional requirements (e.g. for source of funds) or demand unreasonable evidence (e.g. for legal employment) or exceed their mandate (e.g. assessing investment suitability). Trainees are instructed to adhere to the preponderance of the evidence standard and to follow defined procedures in the event that they identify a problem.
    • Practical Guidance and Guided Practice: The 2014 program includes more practical tips and practice sessions than evident in the training materials from previous years. The new materials contain less theoretical background than before (for example no in-depth presentations on the AAO precedent decisions or federal EB-5 cases) and more slides devoted to interpretation and practical application of regulatory requirements. The first two weeks focus on imparting information and teaching trainees what to do with that information, while the third and fourth weeks involve guided practice. The 2014 training program culminates in a case certification with a practical goal: “to have the AO trainee demonstrate a clear understanding of the underlying case eligibility issues and to render the appropriate decision/action.”

    uscis training manual

    ipochart

    Click chart above to view

     

    The April 2014 training materials obtained by IIUSA through the FOIA process represent only a subset of the on-going training activities at USCIS. In his May 2014 address at the IIUSA Advocacy Conference, IPO Chief Nicholas Colucci mentioned additional professional development activities and special courses on topics such as business organizations and documents, international banking and money laundering, and drafting clear and concise requests for evidence and decision letters. This training reflects Mr. Colucci’s commitment to build a foundation of knowledgeable staff and to strengthen the EB-5 program through improved performance and predictability.

    The training materials are available in-full by accessing the USCIS resources tab within the IIUSA member portal (member.iiusa.org). ■

    RCBJ Retrospective articles are reprinted from IIUSA’s Regional Center Business Journal trade magazine. Opinions expressed within these articles do not necessarily represent the views of IIUSA and are provided for educational purposes.

     

    Apr
    08

    Last Call! Purchase Your Conference Tickets Before Today’s Deadline!


    IIUSA Member – $850 
    Nonmember- $1,050  
    Conference Hotel & Venue Information
    Hyatt Regency 
    Capitol Hill
    400 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington DC 2001
    The conference hotel is sold out! Other hotels within walking distance include:
     
    Invest in the USA (IIUSA) cordially invites you to join us the EB-5 Conference of the year from April 12-14 in Washington, DC! The EB-5 Regional Economic Development Advocacy Conference, hosted by IIUSA each spring, is the longest running EB-5 conference attended by international investment and economic development professionals from around the world.

     

    The Conference is Nearly Sold Out! Purchase Before April 8th to Reserve Your Tickets to the EB-5 Conference of 2015!


    IIUSA Member – $850  Click Here 
    Nonmember- $1,050 Click Here

     

    The Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill will be the setting for this cutting-edge event combining the right balance of grassroots advocacy, advanced education, and business development opportunities. Hear directly from the federal government on the future of the EB-5 Program, advocate with your industry peers and help us commemorate IIUSA’s 10-year anniversary as the industry trade association!

     

    EVENT SCHEDULE 

    & GUEST OF HONOR SPEAKERS

    View Schedule in PDF, click here

    CONFERENCE SPONSORS





    Apr
    08

    IIUSA Member Portal Now Features Adjudication Trend Dashboard for Enhanced Data Visualization

    Don’t you wish you had once central location to find updated EB-5 processing trend data? Now, within IIUSA’s new Member Portal, you can visualize EB-5 statistics like never before.

    IIUSA provides not only updated processing times and statistics for I-526/I-829 petitions and I-924 applications, but also historic data on the EB-5 Program including total FDI contributed, which reached a quartly record of at least $826 million in Q1-2015 and a total of 2.4 billion for FY-2014. Read more about EB-5 record setting capital formation fromlast month’s blog post.

    Still Haven’t Logged into IIUSA’s Member Portal?

    Last month, IIUSA rolled out a beta-version of its “new” Member Portal or online member database. This comprehensive portal (member.iiusa.org) replaced Basecamp as the new hub for IIUSA’s membership directory, calendar event listings and shared, member-only resources.

    If you previously had a Basecamp account, then an account in the IIUSA Member Portal has been setup for you.

    If you do not have a current member account with IIUSA, you canpurchase today for $100 per account.
    If you are unsure whether you have an account, have any questions about how to find particular information or suggestions to enhance the member portal, please e-mail IIUSA’s technology support team attech@iiusa.org. Alternatively, you can review Member Portal FAQs at our Member Portal Help Center.