Last week USCIS held their quarterly stakeholders meeting. The agency released usage statistics for the EB-5 visa available here. They also provided the following updates:
- The regional center interim decision board will be implemented shortly. The board will be charged with reviewing I-924 cases for regional center designation or amendments that have been recommended for a denial. Applicants will receive a notice indicating that the USCIS has issued a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). This notice will provide them with an option to have a hearing in-person at the California Service Center to offer evidence in rebuttal of the NOID. Petitioners along with their economists, SEC and immigration attorneys, as well as business plan writers will be able to attend the hearing. USCIS will also permit those unable to travel to California, to attend telephonically. The supervisory board expects to commence within 30 days of issuance of a NOID and will be staffed by an economist and two supervisory Adjudicating Officers from the EB-5 Unit.
- USCIS confirmed that in addition to immigration officers, the EB-5 Unit currently consists of 2 corporate attorneys and 8 economists.
- A third iteration of the draft policy guidance will be published for public comment within the next 4 weeks.
- USCIS will also be issuing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which will be published on their website shortly.
- Amendments to previously approved regional centers are taking longer to process than initial regional center designation applications because the Service believes these applications are often more complicated to adjudicate as they must perform a comparative analysis against the initial I-924 filing.
- Decisions on cases pending because of their usage of the Tenant Occupancy Job Creation methodology have not yet been adjudicated.