EB-5 Stakeholder Meeting at CSC

I just returned from “the ziggurat” in Laguna Nigel, where I attended the EB-5 stakeholders’ meeting  at the USCIS California Service Center. It was a relatively subdued crowd this year — fewer attendees than last year and dampened by the struggle to hear through a faulty sound system. The information of consequence can be largely found in the 3/17 Meeting Powerpoint Presentation available at the USCIS website, and the panel answers to audience questions were entirely predictable. The few minor bombs will be retracted by the next meeting, I assume, so I’m not going to bother to report them. I may comment on a few points in subsequent posts, but here’s the simple bottom line: “follow instructions!” That’s all that USCIS can do; the agency isn’t Congress and can’t make policy but can only defer to instructions. And that’s what we have to do, in preparing petitions: just spread out the same set of instructions (the law, the precedent decisions, the forms, the memos) and follow them completely, elegantly, and with extreme explicitness.

Here are the topics covered in the PowerPoint Presentation:

Regional Center Statistics

  • RC Proposal Filing Receipts for FY10 and FY11 Q1
  • RC Final Case Actions FY10 and FY11 Q1
  • EB-5 Individual Petition Filing Receipts FY05-FY10 & FY11 Q1
  • Form I-526 Petition Final Actions and Final Action Percentages for FY05-FY10 & FY11 Q1
  • Form I-829 Petition Final Actions and Final Action Percentages for FY05-FY10 & FY11 Q1
  • EB-5 Case Processing Times
  • EB-5 Visa Usage Stats

Revisions to USCIS.gov

Regional Center Economic Analysis

  • Defining Direct Jobs
  • Projected vs. Actual Jobs
  • Using a State-wide Analysis
  • Selecting/switching Impact Models

Targeted Employment Area (TEA) questions
[This section reminds us that (1) I-526, not I-924, is where TEA status needs to be demonstrated, and (2) the regulations don’t require state certification that a TEA is a TEA — alternatively the petitioner may independently pull and present stats demonstrating high unemployment .]

Redemption Agreements
[Reminder to comply with Matter of Izumi.]

Complex Capital Investment Vehicles
[Answer: A regional center may opt to structure EB-5 capital investment projects that involve multiple investment vehicles. However, USCIS has consistently maintained that a regional center must transparently show at the Form I-526 stage the specific job creating entities/projects in which the investor’s capital will be invested, supported by comprehensive business plans and an economic analysis that provides a reasonable methodology for estimating the job creation that will occur as a result of these complex investments. Some recently-reviewed RC applications have put forth capital investment structures that seem to presume that the EB-5 immigration process allows for a Regional Center to recruit EB-5 investors, who then file Form I-526 petitions in order to invest in an enterprise without identifying the specific capital investment projects that will receive the immigrant investor’s capital.]

About Suzanne (www.lucidtext.com)
Suzanne Lazicki is a business plan writer, EB-5 expert, and founder of Lucid Professional Writing. Contact me at suzanne@lucidtext.com (626) 660-4030.

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