Highlights of USCIS EB-5 Stakeholder Meeting
On September 15, 2011, USCIS held a quarterly EB-5 stakeholder meeting. The meeting focused on providing guidance on I-924 Regional Center Applications. The meeting also provided statistics and guidance on EB-5 applications.
Regional Center Statistics
USCIS stated there are currently 173 approved Regional Centers operating in 40 states, including the District of Columbia and Guam. A complete list of Regional Centers is available at http://www.uscis.gov/eb-5centers . 90 - 95% of EB-5 petitions are filed by aliens investing in Regional Centers.
The number of Regional Center proposals has increased significantly since fiscal year 2010. In the first three quarters of fiscal year 2011, applications have already reached 160% of all initial filings in 2010.
The percentage of Regional Center applications approved in fiscal year 2011 also exceeds 2010. In 2010, 55% of initial proposals and 71% of amended proposals were approved. In the first three quarters of 2011, 67% of initial proposals and %84% of amended proposals have been approved.
EB-5 Petition Statistics
EB-5 petitions in the first three quarters of fiscal year 2011 have also increased since 2010. 2,608 petitions have been received in 2010 as opposed to 1955 in 2010. 82% of the petitions adjudicated in 2011 were approved, which is less than the 89% approval for 2010. The total number of EB-5 visas available each year is capped at 10,000.
93% of I-829 Petition to Remove Conditions were approved in the first three quarters of fiscal year 2011, compared with 83% in 2010. The approval rate is the highest in the history of the program.
Target times for processing applications a
- I-526 5 months
- I-829 6 months
- Regional Center Initial Proposal 4 months
- Regional Center Amended Proposal 4 months
The number of EB-5 five visas issued by the Department of State is the highest in the history of the program. As of September 12, 2011, 3706 EB-5 visas were issued in fiscal year 2011. In 2010, only 1885 visas were issued. In 2005, only 158 visas were issued.
Form I-924 Application for Regional Center is the filing made to receive designation for a Regional Center project. The Regional Center program allows for pooling of EB-5 investments and the showing of indirect job creation.
The meeting addressed common issues resulting in denial of Regional Center applications. USCIS cited the failure to provide sufficient verifiable detail how capital investment offerings will create jobs in the business plan and economic analysis. USCIS also cited failure to describe investment project activities the regional center will engage in for each industry category, including proposed number of investors, timelines, and financial plans showing capital required and expenditures for future projects. USCIS also cited the reliability of data sources for economic model inputs, including appropriate use of regional data and source of business activity estimates for investment projects.
In addressing exemplar form I-526 submissions included with I-924 applications, USCIS emphasized exemplar I-526 petitions should be included with Matte of Ho compliance business plans and associated economic analysis; project timeframes; request for approval of the exemplar I-526; supporting documentation; and amount and source of non EB-5 financing needed for the project.
USCIS also responded to questions. It stated Form I-924A supplements for Regional Centers approved for fiscal year 2011 must be filed by December 29, 2011. I-924A forms are used for annual reporting. USCIS intends to publish statistics including geographic and industry categories of investment capital, volume of regional center capital invested, and number of jobs created.
USCIS also stated all of the terms of the EB-5 program must have been met when filing for removal of conditions, I-829. USCIS also referred to previous memorandum when responding to questions regarding job creation.
USCIS also responded to various questions from participants.
<- Back to: News & Articles
3102 Maple Ave, Suite 450
Dallas, Texas 75201
Nationwide Immigration Representation Toll Free 1 (888) 310-4044