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EB-5 News, Law & Developments

Timely news in EB-5 and related areas all in one place!

[HOT] USCIS Webinar on Electronic Filing of I-526

Dear Stakeholder,

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to participate in a stakeholder webinar on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. (Eastern) to learn more about the usability and functionality of the new USCIS Electronic Immigration System (USCIS ELIS) Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, and the document library.

During this webinar, USCIS will demonstrate this functionality and provide tips on using USCIS ELIS features.

The USCIS ELIS Form I-526 allows customers to:
Submit their petition electronically,
Upload evidence, and
Track case status in real-time.

[HOT] BEA's Recent Announcement Regarding RIMS II

BEA announced the following recently:

"The Bureau of Economic Analysis plans to release in 2015 a modified economic model to replace the original Regional Input-Output Modeling System (RIMS II). Cost savings will be realized because the modified model will be updated less frequently.

Much like RIMS II, the modified model will produce regional “multipliers” that can be used in economic impact studies to estimate the total economic impact of a project on a region.

However, the modified model will be updated with new input-output (I-O) data only for benchmark years. That is — years ending in two and seven. The modified model will become available to customers in 2015 and incorporate 2007 benchmark I-O data and 2012 regional economic data.

[HOT] Our take on EB-5 area as of May 18, 2014

With over 450 designated RCs trying to capture less than 3,500 EB-5 cases per year, the EB-5 has become a very competitive area. There are currently more SEC restrictions than most RCs are aware or can reasonably follow, and it appears most EB-5 clients are retained outside the United States intentionally.

While the demand has increased and the outlines of the EB-5 law has been clarified, the processing times for I-526 and I-829 cases have not improved all that much.

We would say around ten RCs still capture over 80% of the EB-5 cases out there, 85% of which are from China. Without Chinese EB-5 cases, the EB-5 area would be dead, and USCIS would have to lay-off most of its trained EB-5 staffs.

[HOT] USCIS Official EB-5 Program Website

USCIS' own official website for EB-5 Program, including a list of all designated Regional Centers, is located at:

[HOT] Finally, a USCIS stakeholders teleconference on EB-5!

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to take part in a teleconference on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

[HOT] Personal take on the current status of EB-5 Program

Let me quickly job down my personal take on the current status of EB-5 Program.

[HOT] Good article on the Chinese retrogression

The best article I found on the web explaining the Chinese EB-5 visa numbers retrogression is:

Written by another US immigration attorney, Julia Park, not affiliated with our office in any way. Good article.

[HOT] EB-5 Visas Retrogression for China

Retrogression for China may take place in 2014 for several months to 1 year. Essentially, this means the time it takes for an average Chinese EB-5 investor will increase significantly. It would not surprise me if it takes 3 years or more for Chinese EB-5 investor to obtain a conditional green card. This development will have all kinds of consequences.

[HOT] Current trends in EB-5 area

1. Do not be surprised if Chinese EB-5 IV numbers become back-logged next year.

2. Expect long delays in adjudication of I-526s and I-829s until EB-5 cases are transferred to the newly-created EB-5 Program Office in Washington, D.C. Currently, I-924 Regional Center applications are sent and adjudicated at the Washington, D.C. Office, but I-526 and I-829 cases are stuck at CSC. This delay is causing the demand for EB-5 cases to go down sharply in some countries other than China. Chinese wealthy applicants have no other options basically, so they are stuck doing EB-5 cases.

[HOT] Status of EB-5 as of Oct 20, 2014

Although more and more RCs are being approved, with hypothetical or actual project approvals, I-526s are taking very long time. When will the promised transfer from CSC to the already-created Washington DC EB-5 Office occur? No one knows. China still appears to provide close to 90% of all EB-5 cases, meaning, without Chinese cases, the EB-5 area is dead. Perhaps this adjudication delay is the only way to avoid Chinese priority date from becoming back-logged.

[HOT] The delay in adjudication is the biggest current problem affecting EB-5 cases

An increase in the number of RCs has resulted in a greater competition for EB-5 funds, especially from China. However, that is not the biggest problem facing the EB-5 Program these days. A bigger problem is due to a severe slow-down in EB-5 adjudications involving I-526s and I-829s at CSC. A newly-established EB-5 Program Office in Washington, DC supposedly was going to solve this problem -- the EB-5 community is still waiting and wondering, as it always does. Even pre-approvals of actual projects do not appear to lead to quick adjudications of pending I-526s. What gives, and what is the use of doing EB-5 cases if USCIS is not going to adjudicate them quickly?

[HOT] 2013 Annual Reporty by USCIS Ombudsman's Office -- read from page 33.

2013 Annual Report by USCIS Ombudsman's Office. EB-5 info begins at page 33.

[HOT] CSC says they are adjudicating I-526s received in March of 2012!

According to recent CSC Processing Times Report, they are currently adjudicating I-526s filed in March of 2012 and I-829s filed in May of 2012! This means as of now, you can expect I-526s to be adjudicated in 15 months! May I make a suggestion to Congress? Please shut the EB-5 Program down if USCIS is going to take more than 17 months to adjudicate I-526s and 15 months to adjudicate I-829s. This is unfair to not only RCs but to foreign investors. Also, what is the newly-established EB-5 Program Office in Washington DC doing to resolve this problem?