10/16 USCIS EB-5 Stakeholder Meeting
October 16, 2012 7 Comments
Unfortunately I was not able to be in Washington DC for today’s EB-5 Stakeholder Engagement with USCIS, but I did listen in by teleconference and have uploaded my recording of the call. The most significant update is that “next month” promises another “Conversation with the Director” including Director Mayorkas and Rob Silvers that will tell us what we really want to know: what’s happening with “tenant occupancy” and the EB-5 policy memo. Today’s engagement deferred those topics, but did provide substantive comment on a number of issues. We heard a detailed description of the work flow process and staffing in the EB-5 adjudicative team and confirmation of the rumor that USCIS is working with the SEC to investigate some regional center activities. The panelists responded to questions regarding NAICS codes, construction timeline and job counts, job preservation for a troubled business, timeline for sustaining investment, conditions for use of bridge loans, and investment return in the form of real estate, among other issues. Ears pricked up when the panelists revealed some reasons that I-526 may be put on “operational hold” (e.g. all I-526 for one project on hold while the first is adjudicated, and I-526 for a Regional Center on hold while an amendment is adjudicated for that RC). I learned several things, though I’m never sure what I can take to the bank from a stakeholder meeting. Will the adjudicator who gets my I-526 with a new economic methodology be impressed when I play my recording of Blake Gotto at the 10/16 meeting saying that nothing precludes me from doing this instead of filing an amendment? Can I count on Kevin’s statement that a troubled business does not need to save the same positions that were in place prior to investment, so long as the head count remains the same, including FT/PT positions? I’ll have to listen again to the recording and re-read Matter of Hsiung. This meeting did not include a presentation, but I look forward to the eventual executive summary. I see that EB-5 Center has posted some notes on the meeting, and I will link here to other comment as it emerges. I’m also eager to hear reports from the IIUSA conference this weekend, which I am sorry to have missed as well.