New RCs (CA, FL, IL, WA), retrogression, program assessments, due diligence

By my unofficial count, USCIS approved 213 Regional Centers in calendar year 2013. This brings the current number of Regional Centers to 424 – double the number this time last year. We can thank the EB-5 program office in Washington DC, which opened in April and has been handling I-924 applications, and the May 30th EB-5 Policy Memo, which brought new clarity and flexibility to Regional Center adjudications.

New RCs added to the USCIS list 12/11/2013 to 12/23
Global Investment Regional Center (California)
U.S. Golden Pacific Regional Center, LLC (California)
Valley Inception Regional Center (California)
EB-5 South Florida Regional Center, LLC (Florida)
Illinois Valley Regional Center (Illinois)
Great Ocean Regional Center (Washington)
West Washington United, LLC (Washington)

The California Service Center has been working hard on I-526 petitions but still faces an enormous backlog, with 7,083 petitions pending or awaiting customer action as of October 2013. (To see the trends, use the “Check My Case Status” tool on the USCIS website.) Even with the processing delays, a record 8,567 EB-5 visas were used in FY2013, approaching the annual quota of around 10,000 visas. For analysis of what this means and issues we can expect in 2014, see US Dept. of State Statistics on EB-5 Visa Usage Indicate Backlog in FY2014 is Likely (IIUSA Blog, 12/23/2013) and THE IMPACT OF CHINESE QUOTA RETROGRESSION ON EB-5 INVESTORS AND EB-5 INVESTMENTS by Tammy Fox-Isicoff and H. Ronald Klasko.

2013 has been a year of intense scrutiny for the EB-5 program. Significant new entries in the log of criticisms and defense include Robert Divine’s December 23rd article in The Hill Immigration service’s investment program is a winner, and the DHS Office of Inspector General report on the EB-5 program (see The Office of the Inspector General Releases Report Critical of the USCIS Administration of the EB-5 Regional Center Program by Laura Foote Reiff and IIUSA Statement on EB-5 Program Report by the DHS OIG).

A common theme through the highs and lows of 2013 has been the importance of due diligence. So as the year closes, here are links to some of my favorite due-diligence-related articles and resources from the year.

About Suzanne (www.lucidtext.com)
Lucid Professional Writing provides writing and editing services for businesses and scholars, and specializes in assisting clients to prepare business plans for filing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

4 Responses to New RCs (CA, FL, IL, WA), retrogression, program assessments, due diligence

  1. Jin Yong says:

    Have you heard when pending or new I-526s and/or I-829s will be transferred to the new EB-5 Office in Wash DC from CSC? As you know, CSC is not very motivated to adjudicate pending EB-5 cases.

    • I haven’t heard any recent updates on the EB-5 program office or staffing, beyond the installation of Nicholas Colucci as the new Acting EB-5 Program Chief. To be fair to the CSC, they did adjudicate a record number of I-526s last year, despite all the changes in the air.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: