IIUSA Questions on Statistics, Administation and Policy Delivered to USCIS in Advance of 12/5 EB-5 Stakeholder Meeting

11.28.14 | Archived

On November 3, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Office of Public Engagement announced the next EB-5 Program Stakeholder engagement will be held on Friday December 5th from 1:00 pm to 3:00pm EST.

After soliciting comment from the Membership, IIUSA delivered a series of questions to USCIS pertaining to adjudication statistics and processing times as well as administration and policy.

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 in September?

Administrative

6. Is the EB-5 unit in the DC office fully staffed now?  If so, how many adjudicators do you have?  How many supervisors?  How many economists?  If not fully staffed yet, when do you plan to be fully staffed?  How many personnel will you have when fully staffed?  What forms are currently being adjudicated there?

7. Do you operate in teams by Regional Center?  In other words, do you have the same adjudications team and economists review I-526 petitions filed through a particular regional center?

8. How do you handle I-526 petitions filed with an associated pending or approved I-924 for a given Regional Center project?

9. Have I-829 adjudications be transferred to the DC office?

10. On average, how long does it take for USCIS to decide an EB-5 case after an RFE reply has been submitted?

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

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

13. To what extent does USCIS share information with other agencies, particularly the SEC and Commerce Department?  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?

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

15. How often is the “Special Review Board” announced in July being utilized?  If so, what actions has it taken thus far?  Are records available for the proceedings?

16. What other federal agencies does USCIS collaborate with on administration and enforcement of the EB-5 Program?

17. How are the newly hired corporate and securities attorneys at USCIS involved in the adjudications process?

18. 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?

Policy

19. 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.

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