Regulatory changes, processing times, retrogression, ELIS, articles, new RCs (CA, CT, DC, FL, GA, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, PA, TX, VA, WV)

Highlights of recent EB-5 activity:

  • Feedback on regulatory changes: On 4/23, USCIS hosted a “Regulatory Changes Listening Session” to solicit stakeholder input into the process of revising the EB-5 regulations, and invited the public to contribute additional suggestions through the USCIS Idea Community. You can get a recording of the listening session from IIUSA (post here) and log into the USCIS Idea Community any time through May 8 to provide your feedback and vote on suggestions made by others. Comments made so far include a few informed, constructive recommendations focused on the greater good and many that are either based on basic ignorance about what’s within the scope of regulatory changes or motivated by narrow interests such as trying to reduce competition or divert risk/responsibility or even shut down the Regional Center program entirely. I admit that I fall among those who are not motivated to offer disinterested input and take on some of the sheer hard work of drafting much-needed improvements to the current regulations. But I’m logged into the Idea Community and ready to vote for anyone who is so broadminded and generous with his or her time and expertise!
  • Processing times: USCIS updated IPO processing times (as of 3/31, posted 5/1) that show improvement overall, with 13.2 months for I-526, 8.9 months for I-829, and 10.6 months for I-924.
  • Retrogression: Mr. Charlie Oppenheim of the Department of State’s Visa Office is quoted as saying on April 21 that “retrogression for China EB-5 in the 2015 fiscal year [10/01/2014-09/30/2015] seems almost inevitable, as there are over 7,000 I-526 applications pending and 80% are from China.” For more detail, see “Update on EB-5 Visa Numbers” by Jennifer Hermansky. (For background on the retrogression issue, see FAQs on EB-5 Quota Backlog by H. Ronald Klasko.)
  • ELIS: Martin Lawler has written a useful account of his firm’s experience filing EB-5 petitions through USCIS’s new ELIS system. See “ELIS – Not the Island – Issues with Electronic Filing of I-526 Petitions” on the IIUSA blog.
  • Other articles: AILA and IIUSA have published a glossy report titled “Basic Background About the EB-5 Program” that can be used as an advocacy tool. The EB-5 Insights blog has a couple interesting posts by William Mack on Fee-based foreign finders and SEC/FINRA registration requirements and Suitability and AML Concerns for Broker/Dealers Engaged in the Offering and Sale of EB-5 Investments.

New Regional Centers

Additions to the USCIS Regional Center list 4/3/2014 to 4/28/2014:

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.

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