New RCs (CT, NJ, NY, PA), Removed RCs (CO, FL, GA, MI, OK, TX, WI), I-924A Reminder

I have been tracking changes to the USCIS Regional Center list since early 2010, and today for the first time I am reporting more deletions than additions. I expect that this may be a new trend, as Regional Centers voluntarily exit the program or have their designations terminated. We know that many of the 588 or so Regional Centers currently in existence do not have current offerings. Some have already completed the projects that the Regional Center was formed to fund, some are casualties of a processing black hole that delivered belated I-924 approval well after the applicants had already lost interest and opportunities, some are on ice because the operators found foreign fundraising unexpectedly onerous, some are placeholders created by serial Regional Center filers with no projects but positioning to be attractive operators, and some are in trouble. Of Regional Centers with little apparent activity, some may choose to disband, some may demonstrate that they are in fact still promoting or about to promote economic growth, and some may be challenged by USCIS for failure to fulfill their mandate.

The federal fiscal year ended September 30, which means that it’s time for all Regional Centers to assess their current standing and, if they wish to continue, to justify their existence to USCIS. Recall that “Regional center means any economic unit, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, including increased export sales, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment.” 8 C.F.R. § 204.6(e) Regional Centers that are still interested in maintaining their designation have until December 29 to show USCIS that they are still involved in the promotion of economic growth by filling out the I-924A form and, if needed, attaching a letter with additional explanation regarding their activities. The easiest ways to receive a Notice of Intent to Terminate are to simply not file I-924A at all and/or to be the subject of high-profile legal action. But that’s not the only conceivable way to lose designation. Robert Loughran’s analysis of termination letters, which I’ve linked here before, itemizes factors that have been used to justify Regional Center terminations. IPO Chief Nicolas Colucci reminded us in the 9/10 stakeholder meeting that USCIS is taking the I-924A responses seriously, so all Regional Centers should be sure to fill out the I-924A form, consulting both the I-924A form instructions and the Questions and Answers on I-924A, and keeping in mind the Regional Center mandate.

Additions to the USCIS Regional Center List, 9/16/2014 to 10/01/2014

  • Lightstone New York Regional Center, LLC (Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania): lightstoneeb5.com
  • Adirondack Regional Center of New York, LLC (New York)

Subtractions:

  • Ecorntech Regional Center (Wisconsin)
  • Michigan Renaissance Regional Center (Michigan)
  • Gateway Georgia Regional Center (Georgia)
  • South Florida EB-5 Regional Center, LLC (Florida)
  • InvestAmerica EB-5, LLC (Colorado)
  • Kansas Bio-Fuel RC, LLC (Kansas)
  • South West Biofuel RC, LLC (SWBRC) (Texas, Oklahoma)

There’s another glossy report out on the EB-5 program, this one a positive and well-researched one from the American Immigration Counsel’s Immigration Policy Center. If you want to give someone a solid and accurate introduction to EB-5’s bright side, I recommend The US Immigrant Investor Program: New American Investors Making a Difference in The Economy. (And if you prefer train wrecks, sign up for Google news updates to get the unfolding drama of accusations and confusion around the breakdown of EB-5 partnerships in South Dakota.)

About Suzanne (www.lucidtext.com)
Suzanne Lazicki is a business plan writer, EB-5 expert, and founder of Lucid Professional Writing.

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