By: Brittany Simmons
Congress has not reauthorized the EB-5 Regional Center Program beyond its original expiration date of June 30, 2021. The EB-5 Regional Center Program is usually reauthorized once a year and has never been permanent. It was given a six-month extension earlier in the year. It is uncertain whether Congress will negotiate the renewal of the program.
Key policy changes
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued guidance confirming that any new Form I-924 applications or regional center affiliated Form I-526 petitions received by USCIS on July 1, 2021, or later will be rejected. USCIS will not accept regional center affiliated Form I-485 submissions for previously approved Forms I-526. The agency had originally stated that it would accept these submissions and place them on hold until further notice.
USCIS will also reject applications for EB-5 Regional Center immigrant visas at US Consulates abroad.
Pending Regional Center Program Form I-526 petitions and Form I-924 petitions filed prior to June 30, 2021 will be placed on hold until further notice. For Forms I-924 and I-526, USCIS expects stakeholders to respond to Requests for Evidence (RFE) or any other related notices by the due date initially issued. Although USCIS will not review these responses until the Regional Center Program is renewed, applicants must meet deadlines to ensure an easy and timely approval or denial if the Regional Center Program is reinstated.
Form I-829 petitions to remove conditions on EB-5 permanent resident status will continue to operate as expected and will be unaffected by the program expiration.
Direct I-526 petitions are not impacted by the Regional Center Program’s expiration.
The Chugh, LLP immigration team will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates regarding EB-5 policy changes.