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On Jan. 9, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a notice that, as of Jan. 6, it had completed its review a proposed rulemaking that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had drafted to make changes to the current regulations as they relate to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. The title of this rule is “Improvement of the Employment Creation Immigrant Regulations.”

On Jan. 10, DHS released the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), which will be published in the Federal Register Jan. 11, to gather more information relating to Regional Centers. An ANPRM invites feedback and information to shape a proposed rule and starts the notice and comment period. Comments will be accepted for 90 days from the date of publication. The ANPRM seeks comments on several topics relating to the EB-5 Regional Center Program, including the process for designating entities as regional centers, establishing requirements for regional centers to utilize the exemplar filing process, the process to maintain regional center designation, the process to terminate regional center designation, and measures for ensuring safeguards for monitoring and oversight.

OMB clearance is the last procedural step in the rulemaking process. DHS can now release a Final Proposed Rule at will. Those regulations, as previously reported, will purportedly include changes that will result in increased investment amounts and change the way targeted employment areas (TEAS) are determined. We anticipate that further proposed rules could be released in the next few days and will include changes to TEA designation and minimum investment amounts. If these proposed rules are released, we will publish our analysis on www.eb5insights.com. We will also let our readers know how they can respond and comment on the proposed regulation. We expect that there will be at least a 60 day comment period. It is also unclear whether the new administration will support the proposed rules.

 

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Photo of Laura Foote Reiff‡ Laura Foote Reiff‡

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies,

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues.

Laura advises corporations on a variety of compliance-related issues, particularly related to Form I-9 eligibility employment verification matters. Laura has been involved in audits and internal investigations and has successfully minimized monetary exposure as well as civil and criminal liabilities on behalf of her clients. She develops immigration compliance strategies and programs for both small and large companies. Laura performs I-9, H-1B and H-2B compliance inspections during routine internal reviews, while performing due diligence (in the context of a merger, acquisition or sale) or while defending a company against a government investigation.

Laura represents many businesses in creating, managing and using “Regional Centers” that can create indirect jobs toward the 10 new U.S. jobs whose creation can give rise to EB-5 permanent residence for investment. She coordinates this work with attorneys practicing in securities law compliance, with economists identifying “targeted employment areas” and projecting indirect job creation, and with licensed securities brokers coordinating offerings. She also represents individual investors in obtaining conditional permanent residence and in removing conditions from permanent residence.

Laura’s practice also consists of managing business immigration matters and providing immigration counsel to address the visa and work authorization needs of U.S. and global personnel including professionals, managers and executives, treaty investors/ traders, essential workers, persons of extraordinary ability, corporate trainees, and students. She is an immigration policy advocacy expert and works on immigration reform policies.