Washington Updates (new draft bill), New Form I-526, RC list updates
April 18, 2017 5 Comments
It’s still not clear what will happen in the next couple weeks before the next regional center program sunset date on April 28, and whether we’re likely to see EB-5 program changes first from legislation or from new regulations. In an advocacy update sent to members last week, IIUSA noted that the appropriations package to fund the government past April 28 is likely to be larger than a continuing resolution. Thus it could be a vehicle for EB-5 legislative reform, were any reform proposals ready. Right now there are three active bills – two that would terminate EB-5 entirely, and Rand Paul’s rosy wish list of improvements. Yesterday EB-5 Insights reported that the Senate Legislative Council is circulating another staff discussion draft of EB-5 reform legislation, and speculates that the RC program may get a short-term extension of a few weeks (with government funding) while Congress works out other appropriations details. I’ve added the staff draft dated 4/15/2017 to my Bill Comparison Table and updated my TEA Incentive Summary for reference. (4/20/2017 update: I’ve now revised the TEA Incentive Summary to correct a couple errors.) The new draft is basically the same document (with a few changes) as the 12/2/2016 staff discussion draft, which in turn was based on the Goodlatte/Conyers legislation from 09/2016. We shall see whether it goes anywhere this time around.
Meanwhile, the comment period on revised regulations closed last Tuesday, with 33 published comments on USCIS-2016-0008 and 289 published comments on USCIS-2016-0006. I haven’t had time to read everything yet, but will report back when I’ve gathered a sense of the message USCIS is receiving from such comments as people bothered to make. It may also be significant that the new appointee for DHS head, Lee Francis Cissna, has spent much of the last few years working on immigration issues, including on EB-5 at Chairman Grassley’s office (according to IIUSA).
The new IPO processing times report does not look good, with the “processing petitions as of date” date having regressed for every category (back almost a week for I-829, back nearly 3 weeks for I-526, and back nearly 5 weeks for I-924). If you’re new to this blog, here’s a link to a post with everything I know about interpreting processing time reports.
Also, a sharp-eyed reader pointed out to me that the number of pending I-526 petitions that USCIS reports every year does not, as one would expect, equal the number of pending petitions at previous year-end plus current-year receipts minus current-year approvals and denials. (The quarterly numbers don’t add up either.) Anyone know why this is so? If not, I’m submitting a question for the next stakeholder meeting.
Regional Center List Changes
Additions to the USCIS Regional Center List, 04/03/2017 to 04/17/2017
- Atlas Regional Center, LLC (California)
- Hawaiian Palms Regional Center (Hawaii)
- Hope Investment Regional Center (California)
- Washington Free Life (Washington)
- Leaf Fischer Investment Group, LLC (Florida) Terminated 3/6/2017
- Idaho Global Investment Center, LLC (Idaho) Terminated 3/6/2017
- FreeMind Films Regional Center (California) Terminated 3/15/2017
- Green Card Gateway Regional Center (Illinois) Terminated 3/30/2017
- Florida Gateway Regional Center, LLC (Florida) Terminated 4/12/2017