On February 16, the IIUSA Public Policy committee submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) its comments and recommendations on form I-924A, the annual reporting requirement used to demonstrate a Regional Center’s continued eligibility for the Regional Center Program.
To view the comments please see below or click here for PDF version.
General Form I-924A Comments
1) Supplemental sheets for Regional Centers that have more than the number of JCEs or NCEs permitted on the current form or need to provide explanations longer than a few sentences.
2) Annual I-924A filing/supplement should be different than a form that Regional Centers use to report changes of management/ownership, which USCIS has stated should also be filed with a I-924A form. This would allow for a more fluid explanation. Currently there is no mention that these changes need to be reported on the I-924A instructions.
3) Instructions on how to fill out the form are very general. Should provide more guidance i.e. defining terms such as “jobs maintained”, “aggregate EB-5 capital investment”. For example we only know from the 924A teleconference that “aggregate EB-5 capital investment” for a FY means that it has been released to the NCE and does not include funds in escrow.
4) Specify if regional centers need to report JCE/NCEs that have had no activity in the FY in the instructions. If they have not, there should be a section to provide evidence of “promoting” to avoid NOITs regarding failure to promote economic growth.
5) USCIS should specify preferable job creation calculation methodologies and specify what evidence, if any, needs to be provided to support these calculations.
6) Additional space at the end of each section/subsection to provide further explanation.
Form I-924A Part 1
1) “Web site address”: If the principal is a person, they should not need a website. Same with all of section 3.
2) Should make clearer that I-924A filings need to include the Regional Center’s most recently issued approval notice.
Form I-924A Part 3
1) B: “Name of Managing Company/Agency”: Should read: The person or entity with primary responsibility for managing Regional Center operations.
2) C: “Name of Other Agent”: What does this mean? Agent for service or process, counsel, referral agents? Should be removed or clarified.
3) 1: “Identify the aggregate EB-5 capital investment and job creation that has been the focus of EB-5 capital investments…”:
a) This question is worded (i.e. use of word “focus”) so that it isn’t clear whether they are asking for what has been accomplished (actual money invested and actual jobs created) during the period or what was being worked on, or (projects open for investment but not developed or projects being negotiated but not open for investment yet or all of the above.
b) In order to understand the contribution and ongoing activity of a regional center USCIS should ask about 1) what the regional center has done since inception and all related info 2) what it has invested in and jobs created this period (in order to answer this with accuracy an economist will be required because the analysis requires employing all relevant models for the types of jobs created during a particular stage of the project, otherwise it will be a pro rata calculation and inaccurate, even if the job projections for the completed and operational project are accurate). 3) what projects are open for investment or money raised but not yet invested in and anticipated jobs.
4) 2a: “Aggregate EB-5 Investment”: What does this mean? Capital invested in the NCE, or capital invested by the NCE in the JCE? Should be defined in instructions. Often times the capital has been raised by the LP but not invested yet (or invested through draws). If a regional center puts zero it looks like it has been economically inactive. The form should ask for the funds that were raised during the period and the amount of jobs that are expected to be created through that type of investment.
5) 2a: “NAICS Code for the Industry Category”: More instruction on NAICS codes and Industry Category Title.
a) Are only NAICS codes that have had movement in a FY reported in the annual filing? Do these codes have to correspond to USCIS approval notices and/or filed business plans?
b) Are these supposed to include all of the different industries that are reported for each NCE below the JCE information? Needs to be clarified in instructions.
6) 4: Should also ask for petitions pending and withdrawn.
7) 5: Should also ask for petitions pending and withdrawn