On January 11, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to gather information relating to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program. This ANPRM comes after the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a notice that it had completed its review of a proposed rulemaking that USCIS drafted regarding changes to the current EB-5 program. This rule is entitled, “Improvement of the Employment Creation Immigrant Regulations.” The purpose of this ANPRM is to gather information and feedback from the public and various stakeholders on the regional center operations and EB-5 investors. The comments and information gathered by USCIS through this process will help shape the proposed rule. Comments on the ANPRM will be accepted for 90 days.
USCIS is seeking public comment on a range of issues, including: (1) the process for initially designating entities as regional centers, (2) a potential requirement for regional centers to utilize an exemplar filing process, (3) “continued participation” requirements for maintaining regional center designation, and (4) the process for terminating regional center designation. In addition to these general inquiries, USCIS also seeks public input on over a dozen specific questions relating to the regional program. These questions range from “How can USCIS improve the initial designation process?” to “What documentation should be required to accompany an exemplar application?” It has been 25 years since the EB-5 regional center program was implemented, and there have not been any updated improvements since that time. It is still unclear whether the incoming Trump Administration will continue to support the EB-5 program.