On March 11, 2022, Congress passed the “EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act” as part of the Omnibus spending bill. See blog post here. On April 11, 2022, USCIS posted an interpretation of the legislation that would nullify all 600-plus designated regional centers and require all entities to be re-designated in order to be authorized to file petitions under the new law pursuant to provisions effective May 14, 2022. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program | USCIS.
This interpretation, if it stands, would have a significant negative impact on regional center operations and disrupt even further an already besieged program. The EB-5 Investment Coalition (EB5IC) through one of its members has challenged this interpretation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Case 3:22-cv-02487-JCS Behring Regional Center LLC v. Majorkas et al. Plaintiff filed a motion for a temporary restraining order April 26, 2022, asking the court to halt the USCIS guidance. We expect a hearing in the next week.
Plaintiff, through counsel at Greenberg Traurig, argues the agency interpretation runs contrary to the plain language of the statute and violates the Administrative Procedure Act. Plaintiff argues USCIS is attempting to improperly deauthorize existing regional center designations through its unilateral guidance.