Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in the Federal Register regarding regulatory changes to the EB-5 Regional Center Program. The ANPRM provides an opportunity for DHS to hear and consider the views of the public on potential changes to improve and modify the EB-5 Regional Center Program.
According to DHS, the proposed changes are designed to better reflect business realities for Regional Centers and EB-5 immigrant investors, to increase predictability and transparency in the adjudication process, to improve operational efficiency for USCIS, and to enhance the EB-5 Program’s integrity.
What does the proposed rule address?
The ANPRM seeks comments on several topics relating to the EB-5 Regional Center Program, including the process for designating entities as regional centers, establishing requirements for regional centers to utilize the exemplar filing process, the process to maintain regional center designation, the process to terminate regional center designation, and measures for ensuring safeguards for monitoring and oversight.
What does the proposed rule not address?
The proposed regulatory changes would not change minimum investment amounts or the designation of Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs).
It is possible that DHS could issue further proposed rules changes that would change the minimum investment amounts and TEA designation. DHS would have the follow the same procedural steps it took on this proposed rule change, which includes a review by the Office of Management and Budget Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Following as subsequent review of any comments by OIRA, DHS can take administrative action, such as the issuance of another notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register.
What does this mean for changes to the EB-5 Program?
Stakeholders will be given 90 days, until April 11, 2017, to comment on the proposed regulations. DHS will then review and revise the rule accordingly, and can issue a final rule that is published in the Final Register.
The Trump administration has stated that they will issue a temporary moratorium on any new agency regulations that are not compelled by Congress or public safety, to which EB-5 would fall in the category of. We will be tracking this closely and be reporting any changes to the incoming Administration’s approach.
IIUSA’s Public Policy Committee is reviewing the the proposed rule changes and will issue comments on behalf and suggestions based on feedback from the IIUSA Membership. If you would like your comments to be reviewed by IIUSA, please send them by January 31, 2017 to email@example.com.