Follow-up to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Stakeholder’s Call on April 22, 2015 

At the beginning of the USCIS most recent Stakeholders’ call, USCIS provided the following statistics for information purposes for the current fiscal year, which can also be accessed on the USCIS website. The statistical information included:

  1. 5,250 I-526 Petitions filed; 4,036 I-526 Petitions processed
  2. 1,533 I-829 Petitions filed; 340 I-829 Petitions processed
  3. 170 I-924 Petitions filed; 135 I-924 Petitions processed

Source Funding

There was discussion as to source of funding and the ability of utilizing borrowed funds from family members to fund the EB-5 investment. There were some discussions by USCIS and questions from the audience related to the USCIS’ approach in verifying source of funds of family member loans. USCIS confirmed that if an investor receives a gift of capital, the source of which are proceeds from a loan, the giftor must demonstrate the source of funds associated with the loan.

Redeployment Funds

USCIS took questions from the audience and one of the key questions asked was the redeployment of funds in connection with a loan repayment. This question has been asked numerous times to USCIS with no response. The party asking the question insisted upon receiving some guidance or answer for the obvious concern that in the industry this will become more relevant when a loan is repaid prior to all investors receiving I-829 approval. USCIS did not answer the question nor give any guidance in connection therewith, indicating that they may in the future issue a policy memo on that issue.

Bridge Financing

There was a further discussion on bridge financing and a reconfirmation that EB-5 funding should be contemplated prior to the bridge financing being obtained, in which event the job creation will include the activities funded with the bridge financing. Therefore, it is vital to have bridge financing documents reference the replacement of same with EB-5 funds. Additionally, USCIS confirmed that bridge financing contemplates a term of not more than 12 months, but that given potential delays in deployment of EB-5 funds due to retrogression, longer terms may be acceptable based on particular circumstances.

EB-5 Regional Centers

There was then a brief report on termination of regional centers and the fact that a regional center license is a privilege to operate a highly productive program and that the principals for the regional center must respect the guidelines to be followed. If a regional center does not properly account for funds received or otherwise do not follow legal requirements, its authorization may be terminated by USCIS.

I-526

There was also discussion that the I-526 adjudication times posted by USCIS currently consider petitions which are receiving expedited review, and as such the review period for non-expedited review petition may actually be longer than 14 months.

Our Conclusion

All in all, there did not seem to be any significant highlights or revelations.

Further information about EB-5 and the USCIS Stakeholders’ Call:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States.

Visit the USCIS main website at http://www.uscis.gov/.

Visit the USCIS EB-5 website at http://www.uscis.gov/eb-5.

For USCIS’ notes regarding past Stakeholders’ calls, please click here.