On Monday February 10th, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) sent out an e-mail notice titled “USCIS Invitation: A Discussion about the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program” which announces the first public engagement on the Program since an EB-5 Quarterly Stakeholder Engagement October 16, 2012. The teleconference will take place on Wednesday February 26, 2014. To join the teleconference, fill out a registration form on theUSCIS Public Engagement Division Subscription Service webpage.
In their e-mail notice to the public, USCIS asked encouraged public submissions of non-case specific agenda items, which were due by February 14th. IIUSA responded by proposing 27 items agenda to be included in the EB-5 engagement. In the letter, Questions for 02/26 Quarterly EB-5 Engagement (Click to View), IIUSA asks for clarification from USCIS on statistics as well as administrative and policies issues. Below are a selection of some of the most important questions we hope will be addressed by USCIS on February 26th.
- 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?
- 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
- 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?
- What are the major goals for the EB-5 unit in 2014?
- 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 we obtain a copy of that?
- 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?
- What is the standard for determining the geographic range of a regional center?
- What is required to “maintain investment” for I-829 purposes?
- What if any limits on bridge financing should investors know about?
- Does a regional center application seeking approval based on hypothetical projects require “verifiable detail” or similar standard for market feasibility analysis or validation of costs and timeline for construction to support assumptions made in the economic analysis, or is it enough to present a basically credible hypothetical business plan?
- What specifically begins and ends a period of construction that must last two years in order to count direct construction jobs?