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USCIS Issues Guidance on Regional Center Program Expiration

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USCIS has issued guidance on the regional center program, which is set up expire on June 30, 2021, at midnight. The EB-5 program, also known as the Million Dollar Green Card, allows investors to obtain a green card if they invest either $900,000 or $1,800,000 in business or projects that will create 10 full time jobs. To learn more about the EB-5 program, please click hereTo learn more about regional centers, please click here. The EB-5 program is up for extension and renewal each year when Congress joins to pass the spending bill for the fiscal year.

According to USCIS’ guidance, the program will lapse at midnight unless congress reauthorizes. A lapse in authorization does not affect EB-5 petitions filed by investors that that are not filed under the regional center program. To learn more about EB-5 non-regional center, direct investment, please click here.

In the event of a 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.

For pending applications, in general, USCIS will not act on either of the above applications. If the applicant has received a RFE or NOID on their application, the response should still be received by USCIS by the due date. Although USCIS cannot review the response at this time, they will receive and maintain the response until and when circumstances change. Form I-829 applications are not affected by this change. Form I-485 based on an approved Form I-526 will be accepted, but will not be processed.

The EB-5 program has created billions of dollars in investment and the creation of hundreds of thousand of jobs for Americans, at no cost to American taxpayers. So even though the program may expire if Congress cannot pass a spending bill before June 30, 2021, it is possible that either a short term spending bill is passed to extend the program by a couple of weeks or months, or the program will be temporarily put on hold until the spending bill is passed. After the bill is passed, interested investors will be able to submit their application again.

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