11/9 call with Director Mayorkas

In today’s conference call Director Mayorkas introduced  the document “A Work in Progress: Towards A New Draft Policy Memorandum Guiding EB-5 Adjudications” and fielded stakeholder questions. Many of the questions asked were irrelevant to the topic at hand so I won’t bore you with my recording, but there are a few tidbits of interest:

  • Premium Processing for EB-5: Director Mayorkas reported that the goal is to have premium processing available for initial I-924 applications only by Spring of next year. He also reiterated that the service is working hard to speed up processing times across the board for all petitions, independent of premium processing.
  • TEA Issues: Director Mayorkas said that the statement on TEA designation in the draft memo represents guidance that is effective immediately. See page 6-7 of the memo. (“….Consistent with the regulation, USCIS is to give deference to the state’s designation of the boundaries of the geographic or political subdivision that will be the targeted employment area. However, USCIS must ensure compliance with the statutory requirement that the proposed area has an unemployment rate of at least 150 percent of the national average rate.” To me this statement looks consistent with recent guidance and as if it still gives USCIS leeway to reject gerrymandering.)
  • Oversight: Director Mayorkas said that the agency is concerned about fraud and misrepresentation in EB-5 marketing and practices, and that examples should be brought to the agency’s attention.

I recommend those active and knowledgeable in the EB-5 field to review and comment on the draft memo between now and Nov 25, when the comment period closes. Those looking for practical guidance now can skip this document because the content is incomplete and will change. People also shouldn’t look to this memo for new policy. The purpose of the memo is apparently just to collect all existing EB-5 guidance in one handy location with headings — unexciting but useful and appropriate.

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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