Latest EB-5 News
Proposed EB-5 Legislation
Congressman Polis (D-CO) has introduced a bill in the House to permanently extend the regional center program set to expire on September 30, 2015. His bill is called the “American Entrepreneurship and Investment Act of 2015.” If enacted it would:
Allow “similar” entities to Limited Partnerships as investment vehicles.
Make TEA letters valid for two years.
Require USCIS to establish a “preapproval procedure” for a project “before” any alien files a petition. (If this is mandatory for all new regional center projects, it will greatly slow down the process.)
Eliminate the need for each I-526 case to file a complete set of regional center documents. (There is already a procedure for such.)
Allow for “deference” for approval of a project so each subsequent application is not reviewed for project compliance with EB-5 rules. (USCIS says this is their policy, but they do not always follow it.)
Require 180-day processing of regional center project applications with 30 extra days when there is a Request For Evidence (“RFE”).
Bar people from owning or running regional centers who have civil or criminal fraud convictions with a term of imprisonment of one year, or violated any law or agency regulation regarding the purchase or sale of a security, engaged in terrorist activities or other illegal activities.
Set a fee for project preapproval.
Eliminate the need for accompanying and following to join spouses and children to obtain a “visa number” [this will greatly reduce demand Freeze the age of kids under 21 if a second I-526 is filed for a new project.
Allow concurrent filing of an I-526 and I-485 to adjust status if the investor is in the U.S.
Change the quota allocation for China. The proposed statute is rather complex on this point and needs to be studied.
As of January 20, 2015 USCIS’ posted processing times are as follows:
I-526 13.8 months
I-829 10.5 months
I-924 10.3 months
As of February 11, 2015 USCIS’ posted processing times are:
I-526 14 months
I-829 11.4 months
I-924 11.1 months
On February 26th, USCIS held an EB-5 stakeholder call only about the source of EB-5 investor’s funds. We had our lawyers and paralegals listening. The only interesting information provided is that it is not necessary to prove the source of the investor’s subscription fee paid to the Regional Center (usually $40,000-$50,000). This is a departure from past USCIS practice. We are unsure if the USCIS statement on the call is official policy or possibly a misstatement.
On the call I asked, “How far in the past must an investor go to provide substantial proof of the source of funds used to purchase real estate sold for an EB-5 investment? Few have many documents for old transactions. We used to think the cut off is 7 years but some RFE’s seek documents for real estate purchase 10 years ago. I know each case is different, but could you provide some guidance?” Answer: “We can’t answer this question as each case is different.”