New EB-5 Program Office

USCIS has just emailed a Message from Director Mayorkas on staffing and organizational changes for the USCIS EB-5 program team. These changes show how much USCIS is willing to invest in the quality and also the survival of the EB-5 program.

Dear Stakeholder,

I am pleased to announce that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be creating a new office to oversee our administration of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program.

The EB-5 program has spurred the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs and the injection of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy since Congress created the program in 1990. Interest in the EB-5 program has grown exponentially in recent years, both from domestic project developers seeking capital and foreign investors who have the capital that can fuel economic growth. USCIS has met this unprecedented growth and interest with a corresponding dedication of resources. USCIS has approved more than 3,100 Form I-526 petitions in Fiscal Year 2012 to date, more than triple the number approved in all of Fiscal Year 2009. Since 2009, we have quadrupled the size of the EB-5 adjudications team and brought on board eight expert economists dedicated to the EB-5 program to ensure that EB-5 cases are handled expeditiously and with appropriate expertise. In the next month, two full-time attorneys with substantial transactional experience will enter on duty as new additions to the USCIS EB-5 program team. And by the end of July, a special Review Board consisting of two Supervisory Immigration Services Officers and one economist will review every pending application for regional center designation for which a denial has been recommended, with applicants receiving the opportunity to discuss their cases in-person before any final adverse decision is rendered.

By now creating a dedicated program office, we will build on these steps toward ensuring that this important and complex program is appropriately resourced and managed under a single leadership structure.

I am also excited to announce that the new office will be led by a new Chief of Immigrant Investor Programs, and that an advertisement for this new leadership position will be posting today. Our new program chief will have significant experience in the business world and will assume responsibility for ensuring that the program is administered efficiently, with integrity, with predictability, and with an understanding of today’s business realities.

We understand that more work needs to be done to further improve our administration of the EB-5 program. We are committed to this work. USCIS welcomes and appreciates your input as we stand up our new EB-5 Program Office.

Thank you.

Alejandro N. Mayorkas
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

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

8 Responses to New EB-5 Program Office

  1. Tina Louise says:

    “In the next month, two full-time attorneys with substantial transactional experience will enter on duty as new additions to the USCIS EB-5 program team.”

    What is likely to be the result of the addition of the 2 new transaction attorneys at USCIS? Thanks.

    • Joe Whalen says:

      They should add to the adjudicator’s understanding of the standardized documents to be used by RCs in their dealings with EB-5 investors, i.e. partnership agreements, PPMs, subscription agreements, etc… This could increase the pace of reviews by USCIS. When USCIS adjudicators have to struggle through these things that are based on an unfamiliar body of law (SEC, IRS. OFAC regulations and contract law) it slows things down.

  2. Billy Budd says:

    Too bad they can’t help the adjudicator’s understand 8 C.F.R. 204.6. That would be on my wish list. Tired of non-attorney’s thinking they can understand this stuff that was, essentially, written by attorneys.

    • Joe Whalen says:

      That is a naive and biased statement. Most attorneys graduate with no working knowledge and the few that have any skills usually worked in a law enforcement position, some government agency, or as a legal assistant/secretary or paralegal in the private sector. They have to be taught by legal secretaries and assistants how to fill out forms and gather evidence or compose a brief. Seasoned adjudicators are well-versed in an esoteric body of law matched by few immigration attorneys.

      • Billy Budd says:

        Unfortunately Joe, as you were an adjudicator of EB-5 petitions prior to this current USCIS “clean-up”, I have no reason to doubt you don’t know as much as you claim to know about EB-5. In fact, you were likely partially responsible for this mess that USCIS finds itself in now. For example, allowing TEA gerrymandering and allowing projects to take credit of their tenants.

        Naive you say? Show me some statistics that back your claims. I doubt you will find many that support your bold statements.

        I suppose when one doesn’t know how to interpret a regulation correctly, then is asked to interpret regulations by their employer, one will continue to believe they’ve done a fantastic job doing so in the face of an abundance of evidence to support the contrary.

        I don’t blame you Joe. But, someone should.


  3. Gilligan says:

    Actually, this dialogue between Joe Whalen and Billy Budd, Esq. raising the intriguing question as to why (with all of the unemployed law school graduates desperate for work) the USCIS doesn’t hire these eager, bright young law school graduates? While I’m sympathetic to Joe’s point-of-view, I tend to agree with Mr. Budd, Esq. that there is no substitute for solid legal training in legal research, and legal analysis using the Socratic method (Issue, Rule, Apply, Conclusion). Thank you.

  4. Pingback: EB-5 to move from CA to DC « EB-5 Updates

  5. Pingback: EB-5 to move from CA to DC « NES Financial

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