In early December 2021, IIUSA sent both a standalone and joint letter with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and EB5IC to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) asking them to continue holding all EB-5 Regional Center Program-related petitions and applications in abeyance during the continued lapse of the Program. Earlier this month, USCIS sent a response to this request essentially re-stating their December 30, 2021 alert that said in part, “USCIS is reevaluating the decision to hold, or not act on, any pending petition or application of these form types that is dependent on the expired statutory authority and was filed before the end of the statutory authorization. We will provide additional guidance as soon as practical.”
While the formal response from the agency does not provide any additional information on what USCIS plans to do with Regional Center-related petitions and applications during the continued lapse, IIUSA continues to advocate on behalf of the entire industry with both USCIS related to this issue and with Congress to get a long-term reauthorization next month.
Perhaps the most useful information gleaned from this response is that the new, permanent Chief of the Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO) is Alissa L. Emmel. According to our research, Ms. Emmel has been with IPO for several years as an economist and more recently the head of the compliance department. IIUSA looks forward to forging an open and mutually constructive relationship with Ms. Emmel.