No news yet on RC program authorization

We remain, so far as I can see, in the position described in my previous posts about reauthorization efforts.

As previously discussed, we are waiting for a legislative vehicle to arrive, and for Congress to be willing to load an EB-5 bill onto that vehicle. Industry advocates are striving behind the scenes to make these conditions come true as soon as possible.

Industry hopes for a vehicle are currently focused on the FY2022 appropriations act, which is due by December 3, 2021, unless delayed again. (Delay looks likely, considering the number of contentious issues before Congress.) See Aaron Grau’s article A Lesson in Legislation for helpful background and definitions, and my September Updates post for examples of how omnibus timing has worked in recent years.

Industry hopes for an EB-5 bill are now focused on a consensus bill that has reportedly been agreed-to by EB-5 advocates, and presented to key members of Congress (who may also make changes). EB5IC has talked about this for awhile, and IIUSA acknowledged a consensus effort on October 1 (a significant development). The text of this consensus bill remains a tightly-held secret, possibly because it is agreed-upon and uncontroversial. The drafts I’ve seen show a revised version of S.2778 from last Congress. The bill is a holistic alternative to Senator Grassley and Leahy’s reform-focused EB-5 bill (S.831/HR 2901).

Considering the lack of fallback for reauthorization, I can only hope the best for the industry consensus EB-5 bill, whatever its quality, wisdom, and chances in Congress. This is what industry decided to ask Congress to pass as part of FY2022 appropriations, or the soonest available vehicle. It is the candidate.

The content of FY2022 appropriations is still being debated. So far, no EB-5 language was included in the Democrats’ preliminary draft FY2022 Appropriations bill text, which was released on October 18 by Senator Leahy as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. (Full text available here, the Republican reaction here. If there were a clean RC program extension, it would be together with the other immigration extensions on p. 62 of the Homeland Security bill. But a simple extension is not in the draft bill, and is not expected. All sides expect reauthorization conditional on program reforms, after Congress chose to break the cycle of clean RC extensions in December 2020.) It’s early days yet, and much negotiation remains before appropriations bill content gets finalized. Who knows, maybe Senator Leahy will decide that he likes and wishes to advance the industry alternative competitor to his EB-5 reform bill. Maybe other influences will prove stronger. We the public may not know until the last minute before passage whether EB-5 legislation of some kind (the industry’s hoped-for bill, or minimum investor protections) can finally get a seat on the appropriations vehicle. or another near-term vehicle. And we may not know until December whether “the last minute” for appropriations is indeed December 3, or a later date. (From what I’m hearing so far, a later date is likely.)

Considering the nature of the process, I do not expect to have anything very significant and unambiguous to report on EB-5 legislation before late November at earliest. It will probably be later, considering that the contentious appropriations process looks likely to extend beyond the immediate December 3 deadline. My next EB-5 articles, as time permits, will be on USCIS processing updates, visa availability, and due diligence. In the meantime, I am busy with my regular work of writing business plans.

While I do not expect much public information in the next month, I do expect intensive activity behind the scenes that advocacy group members may still have a chance to influence. If your life depends on this, join an advocacy organization to keep informed and involved. (Even better, join more than one group, to reduce vulnerability to messaging. And hold on to personal sense and knowledge, as defense against doublethink. One hears quite a bit of “2+2=5.”)

As a reminder, IIUSA posts updates on its blog, EB5IC reps post videos here, and AIIA has a blog here and holds regular donor update calls (with one upcoming this week Friday).

I have reopened comments, to facilitate input from readers. (As before, a reader’s first comment on this blog gets held for manual approval, while subsequent comments post automatically.) Let’s focus on what could be helpful, and language we would use face-to-face. Twitter can have the snap reactions, while advocacy groups are the best place to organize efforts and channel emotion toward constructive outcomes. Ideally, this small corner here can stay safe for thoughtful discussion and info-sharing, as it has been for many years.

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.

42 Responses to No news yet on RC program authorization

  1. Muhammad Amin says:

    Thank you, very useful article.
    I would like to emphasize that USCIS should move forward with the petitions which are approved already and investors are awaiting to submit their DS260 as I understand the DS260 also blocked until further notice.

    • The problem is that regional center visas cannot be issued while the regional center program is not authorized. Since every prior step for regional center investors (I-526, DS-260, I-485) is leading up to visa issuance, those steps all naturally stall when eligibility for the visa disappears. This is why AIIA is pushing for legislation that would at least grandfather eligibility for EB-5 investors who started the process while the RC program was authorized. Lacking eligibility, the processing block is inevitable.

  2. An excellent and accurate article as always Suzanne.

    To all EB-5 investors reading this, I welcome you to join the American Immigrant Investor Alliance (AIIA) at goaiia.org

    We are a collective of EB-5 investors from all over the globe who have come together to fight for our rights as immigrants in this country. Unite with us in our advocacy efforts to ‘grandfather’ all existing Regional Center investors.

    Once you donate, please sign up for our upcoming Zoom session on Friday where we will go over the most up to date information with our lobbyist. You will be able to ask your questions and hear from him firsthand: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/3716348012096/WN_0ec9TIV_Sk-oAeI8zQ-cuA

    For the latest information regarding our lobbying efforts please check out our latest blog post:
    https://goaiia.org/blog/f/newsletter-4—when-will-processing-resume-on-my-immigranpetiti

    • US says:

      Keep up the good work! Hope you are able to get the bill passed. It is so important that the investors are taken care of.

  3. Le Tang says:

    Dear Suzane,
    Have any hope for cases waitting visa although program still not reauthorization ? Thank you.

  4. Mukesh Dave says:

    I hope this gets done in December via grandfathering to protect the existing investors at least

  5. Serg says:

    I’m glad to see another blog entry from Suzanne. It’s been a while since we get the last post from her here. Reading this blog regulary became a sort of mental therapy for me 🙂

  6. US says:

    Suzanne, any chance of USCIS allowing you to file I-485 now?

    • Regional center investors with I-526 approval (except Chinese with priority dates limited by the visa bulletin) will be able to file I-485 as soon as the regional center program is reauthorized. (Or alternatively, as soon as AIIA’s grandfathering bill is passed to protect past RC investor eligibility for RC visas even during a program expiration.) Otherwise, there is no chance for regional center I-485. Under current law, so long as the RC program remains expired, visas cannot be issued to RC investors. With visas not possible to issue, I-485 cannot be approved. Therefore USCIS has chosen to not let new I-485 even be filed. USCIS might’ve allowed RC I-485 filing if they expected the RC program expiration to be just a few days or weeks (as happened in the past), but that’s not the situation this year. And the longer the RC program expiration lasts, the more reason USCIS will have to not accept petitions whose advancement depends on RC program authorization. This situation is the reason that AIIA is focused specifically on legislation to protect investor eligibility.

      • US says:

        Thanks! Hope existing investors are taken care of. Hope AIIA is able to get the grandfathering of existing investors through. Really appreciate the work all of you are doing.

  7. CR says:

    Thanks, Suzanne!
    I look forward to seeing the updated processing time for I-829 petitions. Would it be a false hope to expect the number of processed I-829 petitions to have grown significantly?

    • The bits and pieces of data that I’ve been able to collect suggest that the Investor Program Office has been doing relatively little work of any kind since July 2021. But certainly IPO should have improved I-829 volumes, for lack of other tasks, and it’s possible that they have indeed been productive in adjudicating the backlog of cases older than the ones I monitor. I will certainly report as soon as I have any definitive good processing news.

      • CR says:

        Thanks much, Suzanne. It would be disgraceful to waste this opportunity to speed up the processing of I-829s, which would be beneficial not only to the current I-829 queue, but also to those who are about to apply for it, and the I-526 adjudication queue, once the program is reauthorized.

        • Mengzi Zhang says:

          Totally agree. They should process as many as possible I-829s, since the actual time is far more away than the required 90 days. It cost me $3000+.

          • Lu says:

            Agree CR. If you don’t mind Mengzi Zhang, please share your timeline and/or experience with Mandamus. Thank you

  8. Thengai Mandai says:

    Is anyone on this community aware of any cases where I-765 and I-131 have been approved in the last 3 months?

    • CD says:

      Mine and my wife EAD was approved last week and received our card with AP. We submitted i485 in July 2020. We are still waiting for biometric appointment. So looks like fingerprint is not necessary. Btw it’s California service center.

  9. ACC says:

    I know there is an investor who submitted i765 last September got approval last week.

  10. It’s California office. But his fingerprint was taken before the submission date because of other reason. Maybe that’s the reason that his application got approval faster.

  11. ACC says:

    It’s California office. But his fingerprint was taken before the submission date because of other reasons. Maybe that’s the reason that his application got approval faster.

  12. jitendra somani says:

    Are I-765 and I-131 being processed for AOS filed before June 30 ?

  13. EB5swordsmen says:

    Hi Suzanne,

    Can’t believe those negative people forced you to close the comment board. Great to see you no longer promoting the AAED, which has been exposed for PE fund selling recently. The helpless and desperate investors will keep posting responses under your blog, they don’t have anywhere to go.

  14. Hiep Nguyen says:

    I will donate later tonight to AIIA when I have time at home. Everyone, please donate to get the necessary protection for all existing investors. We, the investors, will be very sad and frustrated if there are no regulations in place to protect previous investors. It is extremely important to get this done by end of this year. It is very unfair for previous investors who have put a lot of time and money to this. The current regulation should not affect the previous investors.

    • Kim says:

      Please join the AIIA Telegram group (if you are so inclined and are not already a member) 🙂

      • Amy says:

        Could you send the name of the AIIA Telegram group? Thanks!

        • Kim says:

          Hi Amy,

          The AIIA Telegram group is for donors only, so if you’ve made a donation to AIIA, send them an e-mail asking for an invite link! (I am just a donor/member so I can’t invite people myself.)

          Ishaan is the president of AIIA and as he noted in the comment above, when you’re a donor you get to join donor-only calls, which I’ve found informative.

          I hope you decide to join and in any case, please spread the word to any other investors you might know 🙂

          https://goaiia.org/take-action-1

          • Amy says:

            Thanks Kim. Yes I am also a donor/ member of AIIA. I too find them to be a very useful resource for investors and encourage all investors to become a member.

          • Sree Kanth says:

            You guys really think passing bill is that easy. IV should have passed all their demands by now if it’s that easy. These guys are just taking advantage of current scenario of lapse in program

          • Hi Sree Kanth, I’m the founder of AIIA and I can assure you the last thing we want is to take advantage of our own immigrant community. Please watch our first webinar on YouTube where we discussed our foundation and reason for starting this organization. The reason why IV doesn’t succeed is because their asks are unreasonable and go against core American values like diversity.

            Our asks on the other hand are reasonable and common sense. I hope you will go through our latest blog posts and see our goals for yourself.

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.