On 19 May 2011 USCIS proposed major changes to the rules regarding the EB-5 visa program that would significantly shorten the intake and review process for some EB-5 applicants.
The EB-5 program provides 10,000 immigrant visas annually to immigrants who invest specified amounts in commercial enterprises that create 10 or more U.S jobs. EB-5 investors may petition either independently or as part of a USCIS-designated Regional Center.
The proposed changes would affect how the agency processes Regional Center filings. The first proposed change involves a fast-track processing procedure, the Premium Processing Service, for applications for job-creating projects that are fully developed and ready to be implemented. This new service guarantees processing within 15 calendar days for an additional fee.
The second proposed change is the creation of specialized intake teams, which would streamline resolution of issues and address questions raised by applicants. During the intake process, EB-5 applicants would be able to directly communicate with the intake teams via email.
The third proposed change involves the creation of an expert Decision Board to render decisions regarding EB5 Regional Center Applications. The Decision Board would include an economist and adjudicators with support of legal counsel.