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This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh, Fredrikson Immigration Department Chair, is a member.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provided additional guidance on its interpretation of changes to the EB-5 program made by the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA), specifically the required investment timeframe and how USCIS treats investors who are associated with a terminated regional center.

USCIS said that because of the changes made by the RIA, investors filing petitions for classification “no longer need to sustain their investment throughout their conditional residence, which may be many years in the future and dependent on factors outside the investor’s control such as visa availability.” Instead, USCIS said:

[The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)] now requires only that the investment must be expected to remain invested for at least two years, provided job creation requirements have been met. Although the statute does not explicitly specify when the two-year period under INA § 203(b)(5)(A)(i) begins, we interpret the start date as the date the requisite amount of qualifying investment is made. In other words, we will use the date the investment was contributed to the new commercial enterprise and placed at risk in accordance with applicable requirements, including being made available to the job-creating entity. If invested more than two years before filing the I-526 or I-526E petition, the investment should generally still be maintained at the time the I-526 or I-526E is properly filed so we can appropriately evaluate eligibility.

Because the statute does not explicitly specify whether it applies only to post-RIA investors or also to pre-RIA investors, USCIS said it interprets INA § 203(b)(5)(M) to apply to pre-RIA investors associated with a terminated regional center. USCIS “will extend the deadline for pre-RIA investors to respond to a regional center termination notification until the agency adjudicates their Form I-526 petition. If needed, we may issue a Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny for the investor to establish continued eligibility.” USCIS also said it “will extend the deadline for pre-RIA investors to respond to a regional center termination notification until the agency adjudicates their Form I-526 petition. If needed, we may issue a Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny for the investor to establish continued eligibility.”

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