On November 6, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a Policy Alert, announcing that the agency is updating its Policy Manual to reflect the new provisions on the the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization Final Rule, which was published on July 24, 2019, and will be effective Nov. 21, 2019.
From the Announcement:
Under the employment-based fifth preference (EB-5) classification, petitioners may seek an immigrant visa if they make the necessary investment in a new commercial enterprise in the United States and meet certain job creation requirements. On July 24, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security published the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization rule to reflect statutory changes and modernize the EB-5 program. This rule provides, among other things, priority date retention for certain EB-5 immigrants; increases the investment amounts to account for inflation; reforms targeted employment area (TEA)3 designations; and clarifies USCIS procedures for the removal of conditions on permanent residence.
These updates to Volumes 6 and 7 of the Policy Manual conform USCIS policy to the provisions in the final rule. This policy guidance is controlling and supersedes any prior guidance on the topic.
- Updates the minimum investment amounts to $1.8 million standard and $900,000 in a TEA for petitions filed on or after the effective date.
- Clarifies the definition of rural.
- Explains the new methodology for determining high unemployment areas for petitions filed on or after the effective date of the rule, including the removal of a state’s ability to designate certain geographic and political subdivisions as high-unemployment areas.
- Updates the guidance on engagement in the management of the new commercial enterprise, to list the new evidentiary requirements for that requirement.
- Adds a Priority Dates section explaining that the priority date of a previously approved immigrant investor petition may generally apply to any subsequent immigrant investor petition filed on or after November 21, 2019.
- Clarifies that certain changes to comply with securities laws are not material.
Volume 7, Part A: Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures
- Adds to the Priority Dates section that the priority date of a previously approved immigrant investor petition may generally apply to any subsequent immigrant investor petition filed on or after November 21, 2019.
- Clarifies when the priority date may not be retained or conferred to any subsequently filed immigrant investor petition.
Read the full USCIS Policy Alert here.
Member Perspective: USCIS Policy Manual Changes to Implement EB-5 Modernization Regulation
by Robert Divine, Baker Donelson
On November 6, 2019, USCIS updated its Policy Manual to incorporate changes made by the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization Final Rule, published on July 24, 2019, and effective November 21, 2019, available at 84 FR 35750 (July 24, 2019). Unfortunately, USCIS chooses to publish only extremely limited summaries about Policy Manual changes and does not publish any “redlines” showing exactly what changes it made. Luckily, I had made a copy of the latest previous version of the relevant sections of the Policy Manual and can share the results of an electronic comparison. The changes are worth reviewing but are not particularly elucidating.
USCIS made numerous changes to Policy Manual Volume 6 Part G concerning Immigrant Investors under the EB-5 program…Read More