USCIS Publishes Policy Update to EB-5 Policy Manual Related to Regional Center Geographical Areas

08.24.18 | Archived

Earlier today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the agency  is requesting public comment to an update of the USCIS Policy Manual regarding a regional center’s geographic area, requests to expand the geographic area, and how such requests impact the filing of Form I-526 petitions

The USCIS Policy Manual is the agency’s centralized online repository for USCIS’ immigration policies. The USCIS Policy Manual will ultimately replace the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM), the USCIS Immigration Policy Memoranda site, and other policy repositories.

From the Announcement: 

USCIS is updating guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding a regional center’s geographic area, requests to expand the geographic area, and how such requests impact the filing of Form I-526 petitions. The Policy Alert is available here:

Visit the Policy Manual for Comment page for more information on stakeholder review and comment.

Comments are due September 9th. You should email all comments to publicengagementfeedback@uscis.dhs.gov and include that it is in reference to Volume 6: Immigrants, Part G, Investors in the subject line, and supportive reasoning to the portion of the update you are commenting on.

Key policy highlights include: 

  • Clarifies that USCIS reviews whether an economic methodology is reasonable to demonstrate that a regional center’s geographic area is limited, to include whether the multipliers and assumptions about a project’s geographic impact are reasonable.
  • Explains that a regional center’s geographic area must be limited, contiguous, and consistent with the purpose of concentrating pooled investment in defined economic zones.
  • Affirms that a Form I-924 amendment must be filed and approved in order to expand the regional center’s geographic area for requests made on or after February 22, 2017
  • Clarifies how USCIS adjudicates regional center-associated Form I-526 petitions where the regional center has requested an expansion of its geographic area.
  • Explains that USCIS considers a change in regional center affiliation a material change in cases where the change takes place after Form I-526 has been filed.
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