EB-5 Regional Center Program Lapse Strands Investors – Work Visas


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The lapse in the EB-5 regional center program has had a major
impact on certain investors. According to a report from IIUSA:
Invest in the USA, the lapse is hurting more than 32,000 stranded
EB-5 investors, putting at least $15 billion in capital investment
and more than 486,900 U.S. jobs in jeopardy.

The report notes that under the current lapse in authorization,
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has halted
adjudication of all I-526 petitions filed by EB-5 investors
affiliated with regional centers. According to USCIS, nearly 12,800
EB-5 investors had a pending I-526 petition as of June 30, 2021,
when the program expired. The report says that historically,
according to the Department of State, 93.4% of the EB-5 visa
numbers have been used by applicants who invested through a
regional center. This means that nearly 12,000 EB-5 investors with
an I-526 petition on file will not receive an adjudication on their
EB-5 cases during the lapse of the program and will experience
delays in their legal immigration process. Also, visa applicants
with a currently approved I-526 petition are not able to receive a
EB-5 visa number as of the program’s expiration on June 30.

A draft bill, the Foreign Investor Fairness Protection Act
(FIFPA), which has not been introduced yet, would help stranded
investors if Congress fails to reauthorize the EB-5 regional center
program. The bill would protect “job-creating foreign
investors from loss of immigration benefits under the EB-5 Program
due to expiration of temporary legislation or from future
amendments to statute.”

A new organization, the American Immigrant Investor Alliance
(AIIA), has formed to help stranded EB-5 investors.

The Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers encourages stranded
investors to write their members of Congress, their ambassadors,
and AIIA to urge reauthorization of the EB-5 program and passage of
the FIFPA.

Details:

  • IIUSA Data Analysis: Impact of the Lapse of the EB-5 Regional
    Center Program on Investors, Investments and Job Creation,”
    IIUSA: Invest in the USA, Aug. 20, 2021 (updated Aug. 27, 2021), https://iiusa.org/blog/iiusa-data-analysis-impact-of-the-lapse-of-the-eb-5-regional-center-program-on-investors-investments-and-job-creation/

  • Foreign Investor Fairness Protection Act, draft summary,
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-wELBUwVtOsewe1hDhdCndFAPMTmyhgT/view

  • American Immigrant Investor Alliance website, https://goaiia.org/

  • AIIA statement on Foreign Investor Fairness Protection Act, https://goaiia.org/blog/f/aiia-will-push-for-the-foreign-investor-fairness-protection-act

  • Contact your member of Congress, https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

  • Contact your ambassador, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/consularnotification/ConsularNotificationandAccess.html

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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