The EB-5 Immigrant Investor “Regional Center” Program (“Program”) lapsed on June 30, 2021 due to the failure of the U.S. Congress to extend or reauthorize it before that date. Congress has not yet passed a law to reauthorize the Program.
As a result, any investor and family members who do not already have immigrant visas issued by a U.S. Consulate will not be issued immigrant visas to enter the U.S., and any investor and family members who do not yet have an approved Adjustment of Status Application filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will not be eligible to adjust their status to permanent residency.
The USCIS has issued the “Alert” below on its website.
Important information in that alert that you should note is:
- The USCIS will not act on any pending Form I-526 Petition or Form I-485 Application that is dependent on a Regional Center for indirect job creation. At least for the time being, it will hold these forms in abeyance.
- The USCIS we will begin rejecting all Forms I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and any associated Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and Forms I-131, Application for Travel Document, based on an approved Regional Center Form I-526 Petition.
It is not clear yet whether the USCIS will begin proactively rejecting Form I-485 Applications that have already been filed. However, it is clear that it will reject any future Form I-756 and Form I-131 Applications.
- The USCIS will continue to accept and review Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, in the normal course, including those filed on or after July 1, 2021. This is consistent with the EB-5 regulations and policy that investors who already have Conditional Permanent Residence are no longer subject to the extension of the Program.
There is talk in the EB-5 industry that a reauthorization may come at the end of September when traditionally it would be extended with other laws that are typically annually extended, but there is no certainty of this. We all hope that Congress will act to at least provide relief for those tens of thousands of investors such as yourself who have sought to immigrate to the U.S. by investment. We can only wait and see.
United States Immigration and Naturalization Services
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Alert
Alert: Statutory authorization related to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program expired at midnight on June 30, 2021. This lapse in authorization does not affect EB-5 petitions filed by investors who are not seeking a visa under the Regional Center Program. Due to the lapse in authorization related to the Regional Center Program, USCIS will reject the following forms received on or after July 1, 2021:
- Form I-924, Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program, except when the application type indicates that it is an amendment to the regional center’s name, organizational structure, ownership, or administration; and
- Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor, when it indicates that the petitioner’s investment is associated with an approved regional center.
In general, we will not act on any pending petition or application of these form types that is dependent on the lapsed statutory authority until further notice. If you were issued written correspondence regarding your petition or application on or before June 30, 2021, you should review the written correspondence and respond by the due date (as applicable). Although USCIS is unable to review your response at this time, we will receive and maintain the response for review if circumstances change.
We will continue to accept and review Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, in the normal course, including those filed on or after July 1, 2021.
We will begin rejecting all Forms I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and any associated Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and Forms I-131, Application for Travel Document, based on an approved Regional Center Form I-526.
We will provide further guidance to the public if circumstances change or further guidance becomes necessary.
If you are an EB-5 investors and have questions about your status, contact us at email@example.com and speak with a U.S. immigration attorney in Ho Chi Minh City, Manila and Taipei.