IIUSA SUBMITS LETTER TO USCIS REQUESTING THE AGENCY TO STATE IT WILL CONTINUE TO HOLD EB-5 PETITIONS IN ABEYANCE DURING LAPSE
On Thursday, December 9, 2021, Invest in the USA (IIUSA), on behalf of its members, EB-5 investors, and the industry submitted a letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requesting that the agency state publically that it will continue to hold Regional Center-related EB-5 petitions in abeyance during the ongoing Program lapse.
The full letter can be reviewed below, but in short, it notes the continued progress that IIUSA is making in its efforts to reauthorize the Regional Center Program and it implores the agency to protect those investors who invested in good faith through the EB-5 Program.
As the EB-5 industry advocate, IIUSA will continue its work to ensure EB-5 receives a long-term and equitable reauthorization and will continue to act to protect investors and industry stakeholders alike. If you are not yet an IIUSA member, we encourage you to Join Today to support our efforts.
Request that USCIS Publically State it WIll Continue to Hold Pending EB-5 RC Petitions in Abeyance
Via Electronic Mail
Ms. Ur M. Jaddou, DirectorU.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services
20 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20529
RE: Request that USCIS publicly state it will continue to hold pending petitions or applications dependent on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program in abeyance
Dear Director Jaddou:
On behalf of the entire Invest in the USA (IIUSA) membership and the larger EB-5 community, thank you for the communications USCIS has provided to the public regarding treatment of EB-5 regional center cases following the lapse of the Regional Center program on June 30, 2021.1 We write today regarding the specific USCIS statement that “[a]t the end of the calendar year 2021, unless there is new legislation for regional centers, we will reevaluate whether to keep [the hold on affected cases] in place.”
I write specifically to respectfully urge USCIS to continue to hold regional center cases in abeyance and to notify the public of such extended hold beyond the calendar year 2021 as elected officials and EB-5 stakeholders continue to work toward a program reauthorization.
On December 3, 2021, President Biden signed a continuing resolution to maintain the previous year’s funding levels for federal agencies and avert a government shutdown. The resolution will maintain that status quo until February 18, 2022.
Despite ongoing conversations with Congress, the EB-5 Regional Center Program reauthorization language was not included in the resolution. Therefore, we are not likely to see a reauthorized Regional Center Program before February 18, 2022.
As frustrating as this delay may be, please know that stakeholders and policy makers are continuing their efforts to reform and revitalize the Program through new legislation and to introduce oversight measures we know USCIS has requested of Congress to effectively administer the regional center program. In fact, S.831 and its House companion bill HR. 2901 to reform and reauthorize the Regional Center Program remain viable and collecting co-sponsors. Most importantly, all interested parties – elected officials, their staff, industry stakeholders, and investors – expect and intend the Regional Center Program to be reauthorized.
Therefore, considering collective and unanimous commitment, the best interests of EB-5 investors, and on behalf of the entire Invest in the USA (IIUSA) membership, I am respectfully asking and encouraging you to publicly provide notice that USCIS will continue to hold in abeyance (and not deny or return) all regional center-based cases through the current and any subsequent continuing resolutions.
Aaron L. Grau
Invest in the USA (IIUSA)