Sat. Dec 4th, 2021

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USCIS Reverses Initial Guidance on Adjustment of Status Applications Submitted Under the EB-5 Regional Center Program

2 min read
H-1B Visas

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reversed its initial guidance on how the agency will treat EB-5 Regional Center adjustment of status filings while Congress ponders reauthorization of the program. The agency currently says it will reject regional center-affiliated adjustment of status applications. After initially it would accept them and place them on hold.

The EB-5 Regional Center Program lapsed at midnight on 30th June 2021. Moreover, Congress did not reach an agreement on reauthorization before its expiration. On June 30th, 2021, USCIS gave website guidance expressing the agency would accept regional center-affiliated Form I-485 adjustment applications yet would place them on hold until further notification. However, on 1st July 2021, the agency reversed this guidance, expressing it would reject all adjustment applications. Based on an approved Regional Center Form I-526 and reject any associated Form I-765 employment authorization document (EAD) and Form I-131 advance parole (AP) travel document applications as well. It is not yet clear how USCIS will treat EAD and AP extensions. Where a Regional Center-affiliated adjustment of status applications was already pending as of 30th June 2021.

How will investors be affected by this change to the USCIS guidance?

Until further notification, as Congressional negotiations continue on reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center program. USCIS will reject Regional Center-affiliated Form I-485 adjustment of status applications and related applications for employment authorization and travel permission. Foreign nationals trying to depend on these initial ancillary benefits for work and travel will need to talk with counsel about whether to seek other immigration options.

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Those looking to renew their EAD and AP benefits or those looking for initial work and travel benefits. Based on a regional center-affiliated adjustment application received by USCIS before 1st July 2021. And should continue to plan and file EAD and AP extensions in an ideal way while we await guidance from USCIS.

The firm is closely monitoring congressional deliberations concerning the Regional Center Program. As well as the implementation of the USCIS filing guidelines and will give updates as development happen.

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