USCIS EB-5 Feedback Invitation

The last time USCIS held a public engagement that engaged with EB-5 stakeholders (i.e. went beyond prepared remarks to respond to stakeholder questions) was November 7, 2017. The last time USCIS engaged with EB-5 stakeholders in any form whatsoever was November 15, 2020, when a video of prepared remarks was uploaded to Youtube. (I keep a log of stakeholder meetings back to 2010.) At last, we’re being offered a chance to ask questions, at least. USCIS is not offering a stakeholder meeting yet, but hinting that one may come in the future. I am encouraged by this evidence that USCIS remembers the existence of EB-5.

From: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services <uscis@public.govdelivery.com>
Sent: September 7, 2021 10:29 AM
Subject: Ask USCIS a Question: EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

Do you have questions about the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the EB-5 program? USCIS would like to hear from you. Your feedback will help us plan future engagement events, update program content on our website and prepare communications materials.

Statutory authorization related to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program expired at midnight on June 30, 2021. If you have questions about the EB-5 program, the sunset of the Regional Center Program, or any non-case-specific concerns, we invite you to submit them by emailing public.engagement@uscis.dhs.gov by Sept. 23 at 4 p.m. Eastern. Put “EB-5 Question” in the subject line. We will not address case-specific questions. Note to media: Please contact the USCIS Press Office at media@uscis.dhs.gov for any media inquiries.

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

37 Responses to USCIS EB-5 Feedback Invitation

  1. Law Offices of Sharon Shi says:

    FYI received massive emails from NVC today “The EB-5 category pilot program has expired as of June 30, 2021, for applicants seeking a visa under the Regional Center Program.
    This includes the following visa categories:
    * I5, for an investor Pilot Program in a targeted area
    * R5, for an investor Pilot Program not in a targeted area

    The National Visa Center (NVC) will not act on any new or pending EB-5 visa petitions as described above until further notice. Please do not submit any additional fees or forms to NVC.”

  2. Kim says:

    With reauthorization being so uncertain, efforts to grandfather existing RC investors seem more important than ever. For anyone that’s reading this, please consider making a donation to the American Immigrant Investor Alliance (AIIA) and/or volunteering with them. Their primary goal at the moment is pushing through a bill that will grandfather existing investors. https://goaiia.org

    This Telegram group for investors is also a good source of information: https://t.me/EB5VisaGroup

    • Peter says:

      Suzanne, please delete this kind of offers especially telegram groups of fishing personal datas. It doesnt belong to this new topic.

      New topic is about how to help USCIS website *hahaha* very important for all investors.

      • Kim says:

        Hey, this isn’t your blog and you are not the judge of what is allowed to be posted on it. The Telegram group has been mentioned by Suzanne in her previous posts as well, so I presume she’s ok with it being mentioned in the comments.

        The group is a useful venue for exchanging information and seems to have been around for a while. Several prominent people from the industry are in the group as well. You seem to ascribe some malicious intent where there is none.

        I’m just an investor who is a member of the group, and a relatively new one at that. I only mentioned it here because I thought it would be useful to other investors who hadn’t heard of it yet. If you don’t want to join, nobody is forcing you to join.

      • I delete some referrals, but decide case by case. Based on my personal experience, AIIA and that Telegram group are genuinely helpful investor resources that are worth repeating. AIIA does not collect personal data. The EB5VisaGroup Telegram group does take receipt numbers in an attempt to moderate membership — I understand why, and also why some are not comfortable with that. If you would like to start and moderate or refer an investor chat group that doesn’t collect any personal data, please let me know. I will take a look, and help publicize the group as well if it seems helpful.

      • Chandra Ojha says:

        @Peter

        I am not sure what is your problem with Telegram group and AIIA. You don’t like it, don’t join it. Nobody is sending you an invite. Hearts won’t stop beating if you don’t. I have seen you doing this over last few weeks, without knowing you the fact. It’s a EB5 investor group and it’s actually perfectly legit and right thing to only allow genuine EB5 stakeholders. I do not understand why are you so opposed and ignorant ?

  3. Amy says:

    Do we know if/ who is opposing the temporary extension of the RC program while the industry groups continue to haggle over controversial program changes? Is it the industry or the Congress? I understand long term extension is what we want but it seems risky to keep the program expired and give USCIS an opportunity to start denying existing petitions.

    • Here’s a paragraph that I wrote but didn’t end up including in a previous post. It gives my perspective on your questions.

      The short-term extensions between 2015 and 2020 may have appeared almost automatic and drama-free to the public, but search for “EB-5” on Senator Grassley’s website and you’ll see years of articles discussing significant fights behind the scenes, as Senators Grassley and Leahy pushed for their EB-5 reform legislation, and the industry pushed for deferral. The past industry argument for short-term clean extensions — “just to give us a bit more time to hammer out more acceptable EB-5 legislation” – sounded reasonable in in 2012, still understandable in 2015, a little less plausible in 2016, still less plausible in 2017, rather stretched in 2018, and even more stretched in 2019. Is it any wonder that by December 2020, Congressional negotiators working on the 2021 funding bill sent a message by choosing to separate RC program authorization from annual appropriations — apparently saying “enough – we’re giving you a hard deadline of June 30, 2021 to figure out EB-5 legislation or face the consequences.” With that background, how likely is it that Congress will again accept the industry request: “just a short-term clean extension to give a little more time manage acceptable EB-5 legislation”? It’s hard to imagine, unless the team negotiating the 2022 funding bill is different from the team that negotiated the 2021 bill, and that chose to remove EB-5 from that bill and the opportunity for short-term extensions. It’s impossible unless Senator Grassley lacks the power to make good on his promise to block any attempt to extend the RC program without reform.

      • Amy says:

        Thank you. Do we know why the industry waited for 10 years to agree on reform regulations? Reauthorization seems unlikely in the near future if program reform is a nonnegotiable requirement. Especially given industry is still insisting on controversial program changes.

        • cyberaxizh says:

          It’s not “the industry”. It’s the Congress.

          Democrats want to push a comprehensive immigration reform and Republicans are against it. EB-5 just gets lumped into the larger fight.

          • Peter says:

            Did the entire industry (lobby) agree 100% to the reform bill? I didn’t find a strong public statement. Please share the statement.

          • At least the major factions IIUSA and EB5IC are not agreed on a reform bill; obviously public statements would exist if they had agreed. The IIUSA website has announced no departure from their policy since 2020 of supporting the Grassley/Leahy reform bill, which they see as the only viable/available path to reauthorization. According to Pathways EB-5 videos (https://vimeo.com/pathwayseb5/videos), EB5IC continues hold out for an unreleased different bill that includes features such as revised investment amounts and advance parole, which they see as the only desirable path to reauthorization. Just thinking about it, I don’t know what would make one agree with the other. IIUSA has little motivation to agree with EB5IC to push a legislative wish list that they judge has no realistic political chance to pass Congress. EB5IC has been persistently unwilling to join IIUSA in pushing the Grassley/Leahy bill that EB5IC believes would kill their future hopes if it passed. Apparently a rumor of industry agreement started from misinterpretation of a Pathways EB-5 video last week where Mr. Campion said that the industry was in agreement about the need for reauthorization. His statement was correct — industry agrees on the need for reauthorization. But note that the industry has always agreed about the need for reauthorization. The divisive issue has been and remains disagreement about the path to and demands for provisions to be packaged with reauthorization.

  4. Bumble Bee says:

    Looking forward to your post about I-829 processing numbers.

    • Cristiana Ferraz says:

      Me too, thought it would be so much faster with the I526 being on hold, but just read on the comments that I526 were being approved/denied during this past august

  5. Sam Lattof says:

    Should we withdraw our EB5 money from the RC now?

    • waitingi485 says:

      I believe so.
      The most powerful democratic nation is playing with the idea that Billions of $$$ from investors can be used without providing anything promised ever.
      EB5 RC feels like the smoke you release after taking a drag. No meaning whatsoever.

    • AS says:

      I plan to talk to my RC about exit options if we don’t see a reauthorization come Sep 2021.

      • Bhavesh says:

        AS, we’re already in September 2021 and I really don’t see any possible way to get the rival RC factions on board for a reauthorization of the RC program, which basically means that those unfortunate investors who invested with RCs will be extremely disappointed and unhappy when there’s no RC program reauthorization in the next 23 days.

        What surprises and shocks me even more is this absurd delay in processing existing Direct Investment category I-526 petitions and I-829 petitions for all EB-5 visa investors.
        Right now people are already talking about litigation to claw back their investments, and I won’t be surprised if investors actually go to court to compel regional centers to return their funds.

  6. EB5 scam says:

    The biggest concern is: Will IIUSA and EB5IC create a bill that doesn’t include controversial terms (such as more eb5 visas etc) that has a slim chance of passing in the congress and fulfill the requirement of senator Grassley so that he wouldn’t block the new eb5 bill. The biggest problem right now is: We can’t endure the risk of not passing this eb5 bill this year, otherwise the USCIS would probably reject all the applications of I-526, thus resulting in massive refund requests from investors & reputation damage of eb5 regional center.

  7. Amy says:

    Thanks for sharing this video Suzanne (https://vimeo.com/pathwayseb5/videos). The latest video from Jeff Campion does state there is an agreement across IIUSA, EB5IC etc on the terms of the reauthorization (investments amounts, EAD parole etc). Do we think this is not the case? If there is no agreement and such videos are being released by camps then these video’s are misleading and dishonest.

  8. Peter says:

    Thank you for the information and your comment Suzanne.

    Lets see it positiv. The video provides an interesting solution.

    There will be a reauthorization and the investors can get after 240 days a working permit: Happy investor (can come), happy country (gets income tax), happy regional center (can keep money for long term)… Win-Win-Situation

    The circle of profits is secured as before because nobody will push to get the greencard.

    Chinese and Indian investors can come and still invest. Industry can still work for long time with the capitals because no greencards are issued. Perfect in interest for the industry because 85% of all investors for RC are from those regions. And nobody complains about any backlog of years anymore.

    I think its a good solution for all parties regarding reform bill to „adjudicate within 240 days“ 🙂 Finally its not a must. We all are winners.

    Now I want to sell RC projects :))))))

    • I suggest that you read this article about immigration parole, to understand better what it does and does not offer, and why it is tough sell to Congress: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R46570 It would be a huge win for the EB-5 industry and investors to get work authorization for all approved applicants abroad, if only that were possible. But it’s tough to imagine Congress agreeing to offer that and DHS agreeing to grant that to EB-5 specifically, when advance parole so limited and controversial for other immigration categories.

      • Peter says:

        Well, this report is not for selling. It should state a price „income tax“ tag. 😂

        Anyway the main target is to continue and to get still capital into the system + the industry must offer safety for investors. Otherwise how its possible to convince new investors to invest? I want my Tesla as soon as possible and not in years. The business can not continue like 20 years ago, now the industry is facing communications between countries/investors: internet

        Thank you for the link Suzanne 🙂

        • Don says:

          I dont want a Tesla. That worse than space junk.

          I want my my money back in 5 years. Not a day longer.

        • Jay says:

          Personally I feel cheated royally. My funds were invested in a project which is now making $$ for the developer. My Regional Center was able to raise free money, US government got more than 16 FT jobs using my investment and all I received in return was uncertainty and depreciation of my asset. I still have to live with full ‘risk’ as I am not sure when and if I will get my investment back. If this is not selling snake oil then I don’t know what is. Both RC’s and members of congress are making fun of investors and laughing their way to the bank/vote and have absolutely absolved themselves from all responsibility. US was considered beacon for both *Capitalism* and *Rule of Law* which has been severely compromised with this debacle. Congress need to understand that majority EB5 investors are in their peak working age and wasting 5 or 7 or 10 years for approval will take them off the market.

  9. Peter says:

    Is it correct that we are waiting at first for the annually:

    1) Continuing Appropriations Act, 2022, (Continuing Resolution)
    To continue/reauthorize the peogram (so that uscis can work on pending application)

    And after that the industry and congress is accepting

    2) the reform bill (with the new requirements, maybe valid from middle of October)

    Is that correct?

    • It would be better for you to join an advocacy organization so that you can get more info and questions answered. But a few points. Note first the difference between an Appropriations Act and a Continuing Resolution. Note also that RC program authorization already expired, not expiring on September 30, 2021 together with the 2021 appropriations, so a CR to simply extend the deadline on 2021 appropriations (which is typically all that a CR does) would make no difference for the RC program expiration date. Sometimes a CR will do more than extend the previous year’s appropriations act deadline, and also add new legislative language. If RC program authorization were added to the CR, it would have to be an addition as there’s no RC authorization to simply continue at the moment. The Congressional negotiators working on 2022 funding would have to make a conscious choice to re-couple RC program authorization to the funding legislation, and I doubt how likely that is considering that the negotiators working on 2021 made a conscious choice to decouple it to force a reform bill. It would be wonderful, but…. Regarding industry and Congress accepting a reform bill in October, that would be great but I have no reason to foresee that. (If you have intel on this, please find out and let us know which reform bill, what would be the vehicle to pass it, and who in Congress and industry are ready to accept it.)

      • Peter says:

        Thank you Suzanne. I joined a RC. This is already enough for me and few years ago the RC didnt like to explain details as well. Anyway I invested and it was never in my interest to be involved into the business details of the entire industry.

        But why Mr. Campion is talking about a CR in his video?

        It seems to be he knows more and he sits at the table. Otherwise I cant explain why he wants to be the face of the EB5 industry now.

        Does it mean that there will be a new language for the RC in the coming CR?

        Somehow i am guessing you are well connected. I dont consider it as hobby.

        • There are so many technical terms that it’s easy and common to be imprecise. Mr. Campion could have meant Appropriations Act when he said CR in the video. The difference between Mr. Campion and me is that he indeed sits at the negotiating table and is the public voice for the powerful regional centers involved with EB5 Investment Coalition, while I’m a distant observer and don’t represent anything but my observations and thinking. I understand the need for regional centers to offer a message of hope, as in the video. The message directly addresses the needs and concerns of anxious investors. As an outside observer, I just struggle to identify real-world basis for hopes about an imminent short-term extension followed by passage of benefit-rich reform legislation. (My previous articles linked on the blog Reauthorization page discuss the complications I see.) But I’d be so happy if promises responsive to what investors want to hear also turn out to come true in reality.

        • veedster says:

          Jeff Campion far more than just a RC operator. He is a leading mover and shaker in this business. So he has a lot of insights into the inner workings of these legislations. I also posted a video before. Many in this business are well known to each other and connected at the top in many levels.

  10. RPG says:

    Hi Suzanne, in your opinion, what are the possible routes, the key deal agreement elements, and the timelines for a reauthorisation to happen? I realise that this is almost like asking you to be Nostradamus :-), but I’m sure to many of us, you are the only person we know who could predict how things could progress positively towards an RC program re-authorisation. As information, I am an Indian investor living in Mumbai, and my petition was approved Nov’2020, and my visa application was certified complete and clear by NVC early Jun’2021. While I know the bigger hurdle to get an interview slot in Mumbai is the Covid related backlog, any delay in reauthorisation makes me even more nervous as you can imagine… Thanks in advance for your prediction :-)….

    • Rm lokesh says:

      Hello ,

      I am also Indian , can you explain the process of post approval I-526 process? I am also in mumbai

    • Roberto Virga says:

      The short version: don’t expect any news until *very late* September.
      The slightly longer version: the possible avenues to re-authorization are basically two: the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the FY2022 omnibus appropriation bill. There’s a third bill in play during the month of September, the $3.5T “human infrastructure” bill, but for several reasons it’s almost impossible for re-authorization to be attached to that bill.
      The bipartisan infrastructure bill was passed by the Senate without an amendment for EB-5 RC re-authorization, but such amendment could be added when it’s voted in the House. Nancy Pelosi has promised to put this bill up for a vote by September 27th.
      The omnibus appropriation bill must be passed by September 30th, or the federal government loses funding and shuts down, so it’s a must-pass bill. But in the past what has always happened is that Congress passed a series of continuing resolutions, keeping the government funded for a few additional months. For reference, the FY2021 omnibus appropriation bill was finally passed on December 27th of last year.

      • Roberto Virga says:

        PS. I should mention another bill that will probably be introduced sometime in the fall. Treasury Secretary Yellen has signaled that, because of the additional spending for Covid-19, the US government is closer to hit the debt ceiling than previously anticipated. So in October-November it might be necessary to pass a bill raising the debt ceiling. This is another must-pass bill, because failure to pass this bill would cause the US to default on its debt, triggering a worldwide financial crisis. But, since the time frame of this bill is the same as the omnibus one, it’s far more likely for re-authorization to be attached to that one.

  11. jz2021 says:

    Thank you so much for all your information Suzanne. Was wondering if anyone has any information on how USCIS is handling pending employment authorization applications filed before the sunset date. seems pretty outrageous to trap EB5 investors who are already in the states and not allow them to work…

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