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2013/05/30 -- Final USCIS Guidance Memo

Finally . . .

http://eb-5center.com/files/EB-5_Final_Guidance.pdf

Still, many of the EB-5 remain and are left unaddressed.

2013/04/11 -- USCIS HQ and AILA Liaison Meeting Q & As

Contained info on the new EB-5 Program Office transition status.

[HOT] California State TEA Procedure Info

California is now allowing a special "third-step" option of qualifying census tracts (by combining 12 or fewer contiguous census tracts), in addition to the pre-approved areas composed of counties, cities, MSAs and CDPs.

See: http://business.ca.gov/Programs/EB5Program.aspx

Now, what I don't understand is the content of the recommended EDC Template Letter which contains the language stating that the signing entity "concur that the project will draw employment from the list of contiguous Census Tracts provided." I guess this is not problematic since this language can be read as saying the project will draw employment from the regional center geographic area which contains the area carved out by the attached contiguous Census Tracts.

2013/03/05 -- Ombudsman sponsored meeting on EB-5 issues

Another Ombudsman sponsored meeting on EB-5 issues and problems. What's new. Read this if you want to hear complaints that do not get solved. Folks, USCIS and everyone know what the problems are; the real issue is the willingness to execute.

http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/cisomb-EB-5-meeting-...

[HOT] An updated EB-5 Adjudication Policy Memo (updated draft)

USCIS issued on Feb. 14, 2013 an updated draft for further comments. See:

http://eb-5center.com/node/1084

2013/02/14 -- Updated Draft EB-5 Adjudications Policy Memo

http://eb-5center.com/files/USCIS%20Draft%20Policy%20Memo%20EB-5%202013%...

Dear USCIS Stakeholders,

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is continually focused on enhancing its administration of the EB-5 program. As part of our efforts we have undertaken an iterative policy development process which includes the posting of a draft EB-5 policy memorandum for public comment. We would like to thank stakeholders for providing comments on previously posted versions of the EB-5 memorandum.

[HOT] SEC Complaint against one RC Program Operator

Not guilty until proven, but the charges are serious, including forgery of EB-5 project documents. One thing this case demonstrates is that some Chinese EB-5 investors -- and more importantly, some Chinese emigration consulting companies -- do not vet the projects carefully. Especially if the operator lacks good track records, you better check out the project more thoroughly.

http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2013/2013-20.htm

Washington, D.C., Feb. 8, 2013 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges and an asset freeze against an individual living in Illinois and two companies behind an investment scheme defrauding foreign investors seeking profitable returns and a legal path to U.S. residency through a federal visa program.

2009/06/12 -- Aytes Memo explaining tenant jobs in context of RC EB-5 projects

Response to Ombudman recommendation and explaining tenant jobs in context of EB-5 projects:

http://eb-5center.com/files/2009_06_12_tenant_jobs_memo.pdf

[HOT] New Operational EB-5 Tenant Occupancy Guidance Memo Released by USCIS

See: http://eb-5center.com/node/1080

USCIS could have made the Guidance Memo more clear and easier to comply, but it's not their style, I guess.

2012/12/28 -- Interim EB-5 Tenant Occupancy Guidance Memo

On December 28, 2012, USCIS releases the following email.

Dear Stakeholders,

In May 2012, USCIS published operational guidance on EB-5 adjudications involving the tenant-occupancy methodology which explains how USCIS policy on deference to prior EB-5 adjudications applies in the context of determinations regarding the reasonableness of an economic methodology. Since this guidance was issued, USCIS has carefully considered responses to Requests for Evidence (RFEs) as well as input from other relevant government agencies and has issued further operational guidance to govern the adjudication of these cases. This guidance will be applied to pending cases involving the tenant-occupancy methodology, as well as cases filed on or after the date of this guidance.

[HOT] Implementation of New USCIS Immigrant Fee Starting Feb 1, 2013

Don't you think we deserve better services from USCIS for these fees?

New fee allows USCIS to recover the costs of processing immigrant visas after individuals receive their visa packages from the Department of State abroad

WASHINGTON—On Feb. 1, 2013,U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin collecting a new USCIS Immigrant Fee of $165 from foreign nationals seeking permanent residence in the United States. This new fee was established in USCIS’s final rule adjusting fees for immigration applications and petitions announced on Sept. 24, 2010.

2012/12/03 -- EB-5 Conversations with Director Mayorkas

Below are informal (not as complete as I would like) notes I took on the above teleconference. Going into this event, many EB-5 stakeholders were wondering whether an updated or final "overarching" guidance memo will be released in advance of the teleconference. That has not happened. Also, stakeholders were also wondering why so many I-526s have been pending for so long unadjudicated. USCIS cannot keep on delaying any longer; it's not fair to EB-5 investors and Regional Centers. And frankly, USCIS is shirking its duty to review and adjudicate cases. We heard that some RCs are even filing mandamus actions to force USCIS to adjudicate EB-5 cases; that's truly a shame and a waste of taxpayers' money and government resources.

[HOT] Steps to take on doing a direct EB-5 case by establishing new franchise store(s)

Let's say you are considering pursuing a direct EB-5 case based on a planned establishment of new franchise stores. It could be a franchise store or a non-franchise store. Chronologically, the below are the steps you should take.

- How many franchise stores do you have to establish to meet the 10 new (excluding you and your family members), full-time positions? If one store will require only 6 full-time positions, then you better plan on setting up at least two (2) stores to meet the job requirement.

I-526 approvals of the Los Angeles Marriott Hotel project and implications

http://www.eb5investors.com/blog/application-approvals-are-a-positive-si...

We disagree with the conclusion stated in the above article that the approval of the Los Angeles Marriott Hotel project is an indication that USCIS has reached a positive conclusion on the tenant-occupancy issue. We take it as an indication that USCIS has carved out an exception to hotel developer/management related jobs from the tenant-occupancy issues which still have not been decided.