US Immigration News

The EB-5 Regional Center Program Expires Pending Petitions in Limbo

2 minute read
"The EB-5 Regional Center Program expired as of Jun 30, 2021. While the EB-5 Direct Investment Program is still functional for international entrepreneurs who want to make a direct investment in the US, 90% of all applications were made through the Regional Center Programs as the minimum required investment was less."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Aug 6, 2021
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The EB-5 Visa program is also known as the “cash for Green Card program” as applicants can obtain US permanent residence by making a substantial investment in the country. Currently, stakeholders in the EB-5 Regional Center Program are urging for reauthorization of the program via a new legislative bill. It is expected that such a bill will be approved by the end of this fiscal year, that is, before Sep 30, 2021. 

What Will Happen to the Pending Applications to the EB-5 Regional Center Program?

Unlike the earlier years, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it plans to reject any applications received for this program after Jul 1, 2021. Pending applications will be put on hold until further notice. 

Earlier, new petitions were postponed until the program was reauthorized, however, this time, these petitions will be outright rejected until the program is reauthorized.

Pending petitions and new petitions will be treated in the following manner:

Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor: 

This petition received on or after Jul 1, 2021, will be rejected if the investment is made via a Regional Center. Any such petitions already pending with the USCIS will be put on hold until further notice.

Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status: 

These petitions will be received and adjudicated normally as before.

Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status: 

Originally, the USCIS stated that it intends to accept these petitions and put them on hold. However, on Jul 7, 2021, the USCIS updated its guidelines to reject all Form I-485 petitions to adjust status.

What Was the Recent Decision Made By the US District Court Regarding the EB-5 Program?

Recently, a US District Court decided to reverse the minimum required investment level for the EB-5 Program to their earlier limits. In November 2019, the investment requirements for the EB-5 Program were hiked based on how you were investing:

  • EB-5 Direct Investment: Investment requirement raised to $1.8 million from $1 million

  • EB-5 Regional Center: Investment requirement raised to $900,000 from $500,000

The recent court order reverted the investment requirement to its original level.

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