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EB-5 Investor Visa Update | USCIS Processing Guidance


October 24th, 2023 at 05:33 am

EB-5 Investor Visa Update | USCIS Processing Guidance

To better understand the modifications made to the EB5 program by the EB5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), USCIS is offering further clarification. In particular, the duration of the needed investment and our handling of investors connected to a Terminated Regional Center

For EB5 investors filing Form I-526 immigrant petition by Standalone investor or Form I-526c immigrant petition by Regional Center investor on or after March 15, 2022, as specified in the RIA, this article provides clarification regarding the necessary investment time range.

The RIA eliminated the requirement that the investor maintain their investment throughout their conditional residence, the general requirement for classification to invest, and the requirement that the investor be actively in the process of investing the necessary amount of capital in a new commercial enterprise. These requirements were important to investors pursuing to remove circumstances on their permanent resident status under INA 216a based on an EB5 immigrant visa petition filed on or after the enactment of the RIA.

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As a result of these RIA modifications, investors who file petitions for classification following RIA enactment are spared from having to maintain their investment for the duration of their conditional residents, which could be many years in the future and depend on variables beyond the investors’ control like the availability of visas.

All the immediate necessary details remain the expectation that the investment will stay in place for at least two years, assuming that the prerequisites for job creation remain satisfied. Nevertheless, the Act is silent on the start of the 2 years under INA 203. The day that the required quantity of qualifying investment is made is when we interpret the commencement date.

The date the investment was contributed to the new business venture and put at risk in compliance with all relevant regulations, such as being made available to the entity responsible for creating jobs, will be used by USCIS. Generally speaking, the investment should still be kept at the time the I-526 or I-526e petition is correctly filed if it was made more than two years before filing.

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For us to properly assess eligibility before the RIA’s enactment. If a regional center is terminated, investors who had not yet secured conditional permanent resident status would have been regarded to have changed their eligibility, which would have likely led to the denial or revocation of related investor petitions.

Further Details

A new provision at INA 203 now established by the RIA, allows good faith investors connected to terminated Regional centers to maintain eligibility under specific conditions. Therefore, due to the statute’s ambiguity about its application to both pre-RIA and post-RIA investors,

Additionally, USCIS is offering guidelines for how pre-RIA investors should understand this new rule. USCIS will extend the pre-RIA investor deadline for responding to a regional center termination notification upon the regional center’s termination. We may send out a request for proof or notice of intent to reject for the investor to show ongoing eligibility until the agency rules on its Form I-526 petition.

The 180-day response deadline for notices of ongoing eligibility may extend by the US using procedural flexibility. We may conclude that, in most cases, a regional center’s termination for simply administrative non-compliance won’t hurt a pre-investor’s basic eligibility.

We reserve the right to refuse to extend any relevant response dates since their investment and the ensuing job creation remain unaffected. Consequently, if a regional center closes for significant reasons, it could impact its associated investors’ eligibility going forward.

US H-1B Work Visa Update | US Work Visa 2023

US to permit certain holders of work visas to extend their status without having to exit the nation. A pilot program that would allow certain holders of work visas to renew their visas in the US without having to return to their home countries is about to be launched by the US State Department.

Participants in this US State Department pilot program must have an H1B visa, which allows over 85,000 highly talented individuals to enter the US for up to three years of employment. The United States wants to do away with the need that holders of H1B visas to visit an overseas consulate to renew their status.

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Department of State Response to the Initiative

A representative for the Department of State stated that the program will deal with the ambiguity that certain US businesses who hire H1B temporary workers frequently experience while the pilot program is in place. The Department of State will evaluate whether this regulation is affecting appointment availability worldwide, the spokeswoman said.

Additionally, the authorities will assess if the strategy will clear backlogs and make appointments easier for people attempting to obtain work visas outside of the United States.

Since domestic visa renewals ceased in 2004, immigration attorneys have been pressing the administration to bring back this practice in light of the present circumstances. Immigration attorneys claim that the government is burdening workers with their requirement to return to their home countries to renew work visas.

This is because getting a new visa requires paying a lot of money to travel overseas and make an appointment at a US consulate. By the end of this year, the State Department hopes to begin allowing holders of work visas to reapply while they are still in the nation.

The representative added that participation in the pilot program will initially be voluntary. The initiative must go through the rule-making process before the authorities formally launch this pilot program. Following completion of this process, the State Department will review feedback from the public and revise the proposed Rule as necessary.

After that, the White House will consider the proposal in its entirety. In 2004, the State Department suspended the domestic renewal of certain work visas due to the agency’s noncompliance with certain conditions.

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