USCIS Begins First Phase of Improvements to EB-5 Processing
Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 28, 2011 – Entities that are seeking approval as Regional Centers under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program can communicate directly with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjudicators to address issues and answer questions as part of the application process, USCIS recently announced. This is the first of a series of USCIS improvements to its EB-5 processing. The goal is part of USCIS’ plan to expedite the EB-5 process to spur new jobs and investments by foreign nationals who want to invest in Regional Center projects.
As background, the EB-5 program permits a foreign national investor who invests $1 million in a new commercial enterprise that directly employs at least 10 U.S. workers to obtain conditional residence. Certain investors only have to invest $500,000 if the investment is in a rural or designated high unemployment area. Such investors still must directly create employment for at least 10 U.S. workers. Regional Centers typically create projects in rural or high unemployment areas thus reducing the investment amount to $500,000. Critically, Regional Center projects only must show indirect employment by approved economic modeling.
The program, though successful in spurring interest, remains plagued with problems.
“USCIS’ goal of direct e-mail communication between itself and Regional Center applicants is laudable because applicants should have an effective means to correspond with the agency,” said Dallas immigration attorney Stewart Rabinowitz, of the law firm of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. “But how USCIS implements this link remains to be seen.”
The new process began in September 2011, and new applicants for approved Regional Centers can take advantage of these enhanced communication tools. But Regional Center entity applicants and after approval, foreign national investors, frequently face a government agency short on expertise in complex investment structures but with a long history of looking for improper if not fraudulent conduct, and assuming a negative when faced with something novel.
“If direct email communication is another way of stalling the adjudication timeline with pleasant window dressing, then emailing the Service while the agency fritters time away will not help and the public relations glitz won’t go very far,” said Rabinowitz. “Consider some current I-526 applicants – investors who have placed money in regional centers – who have been waiting for almost a year for I-526 adjudications. What Regional Center applicants and project investors alike want is timely as well as predictable case adjudication. And with long delays which are sometimes accompanied by unsophisticated adjudication, those goals all too often remain elusive.”
Stewart Rabinowitz is President of Dallas-based Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. Mr. Rabinowitz is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. To learn more, contact a Dallas immigration lawyer or Dallas immigration attorney at Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C., call 1.972.233.6200 or visit http://www.rabinowitzrabinowitz.com.
Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C.
14901 Quorum Drive, Suite 580
Dallas, Texas 75254
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