Sun. Sep 25th, 2022

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All is not well in the EB-5 Green Card land

2 min read
EB-5 Regional Centers

EB-5 Green Card land: The U.S. EB-5 regional center program (RC Program) had gained immense popularity, among Indians, in the past 10 years. Be things came to a screeching slow down, first with retrogression and processing delays followed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the steep increase in investment amounts under the Trump government, and finally to a jolting halt in June 2021 when the RC Program lapsed.

Thankfully, the majority of these are relics of the past for now. Indian nationals are no longer subject to retrogression according to the latest information published by the Department of State (DOS); the pandemic has subsided, and the increase in investment amounts has been superseded by more moderate increases under the EB-5 Regional Center Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 that also reestablished the RC Program. However, as of now, data published by the USCIS shows that processing time is between 41 to 71 months from the date of filing an I-526, investment-based petition. The USCIS has resumed processing cases that were filed before June 2021, and we should soon see some progress soon.

However, the road ahead still has pitfalls for new investors.

Re-Designation | EB-5 Green Card Land

Since the passage of the new regulation, the government agencies like the DOS and USCIS were to publish regulations or guidelines to take the RC Program forward in compliance with the new statute. In the last week of April 2022, the USCIS issued a set of new frequently asked questions (FAQs). Where it declared a new policy that gives that Entities looking to be designated as a regional center are required to file Form I-956, Application for Regional Center Designation. The USCIS will publish this new form, including the form instructions. With extra data regarding the filing process by 14th May 2022.

[USCIS Provides Temporary Relief for Certain EAD Renewals]

The RC Program was to start working on 15th May 2022, when practitioners expected to file new investment-based petitions. However, because of this new development, new investors will have to wait before they can file their I-526 petitions. For example, their investment-related petitions. New investors will have to wait until after 14th May 2022. Because regional centers should first file a Form I-956 application to get approval. Then submit a project application and get a receipt number for it to be eligible to qualify for the bill for EB-5 investments.

Be that as it may, It Is Not All Bad

Luckily, this re-designation requirement doesn’t influence investors who have filed regional center-related Forms I-526s on or before 30th June 2021. For example before the RC Program sunset, that is to stay, the sunset day of the past regional center program. In other words, the need for regional centers to get re-designated. Does not impact petitions that were pending prior to 15th March 2022. These pending petitions are considered to be “grandfathered” and will be adjudicated. As per the eligibility requirements at the time they were initially filed.

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