During the EB-5 conversation with Director Mayorkas today, he indicated that the USCIS is reconsidering the promise they made almost a year ago to introduce Premium Processing for regional center designation applications with shovel ready projects. During a call that was supposed to focus on the tenant occupancy issue, Director Mayorkas indicated that the Service believes that they need to have sufficient time to examine I-924 applications and will postpone, if not all together reconsider, the introduction of Premium Processing.

Interestingly, the Director started off today’s call by noting that in addition to the economists and business analysts that USCIS has brought on board to examine these applications in the past several years, they are now seeking qualified securities attorneys as well. It seems clear that the Service intends to scrutinize applications more carefully to ensure that they are viable and in compliance with not only EB-5 regulations, but applicable securities laws. In the past year, we have seen that USCIS has sua sponte reopened the designations of previously approved centers and has requested further information to examine whether or not the applications should have been approved in the first place.

Next week I will be attending the USCIS stakeholders meeting at the California Service Center on Tuesday and will provide a summary of the meeting to our readers.