USCIS Issues Final EB-5 Policy Memo

The long-awaited and final USCIS EB-5 Policy Memorandum was issued on May 30, 2013 and includes  beneficial changes and clarifications to the EB-5 visa program.  Among the significant advancements is the ability of designated regional centers to extend their geographic area, industries, business plans and economic methodologies without the need to submit a formal amendment to USCIS.  The memo expresses the view of USCIS that these changes do not require the filing of Form I-924.  This change alone will make the regional center program more efficient.

Among other bright spots in the memo, USCIS clarifies that it will grant deference to already adjudicated matters and will not attempt to re-adjudicate at later stages in the EB-5 process.  The memo finally clarifies that the use of bridge financing prior to the placement of EB-5 financing will not affect the job creation calculation.  Moreover, USCIS clarifies that EB-5 capital to be used to refinance bridge financing.  In connection with state TEA designations, USCIS will defer to states on the area making up the TEA and will only verify that reasonable methodologies were used to determine the levels of unemployment.  USCIS clarifies that not all jobs must be created and accounted for at the I-829 stage but that it will allow a showing of substantial compliance with job creation requirements and that the remaining jobs will be created within a reasonable time.  The USCIS memo expressly states that one year would be a reasonable amount of time to complete the job creation requirements.

The Final USCIS EB-5 Policy Memo is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the EB-5 program and it can be found here.