On March 1, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security posted a Federal Register notice providing information related to the EB-5 Integrity Fund. See Notice of EB-5 Regional Center Integrity Fund Fee. The EB-5 Integrity Fund was a special fund established by the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 to administer the EB-5 Regional Center Program and to allow the collected funds to be used for detection and investigation of fraud and other immigration crimes. See USCIS EB-5 Integrity Fund.
The notice provides that starting March 2, 2023, as required by the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will collect an annual fee from each designated regional center to finance the EB-5 Integrity Fund. The notice explains the requirement for the annual fee and the process for how the fee is to be paid. Specifically, for regional centers with more than 20 investors, the fee is $20,000 and for those with 20 or fewer investors, the fee is $10,000. The fee payment for fiscal year (FY) 2023 is due by April 1, 2023, and regional centers must pay the annual fee online directly at Pay.gov, a system managed by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Beginning in FY 2024, the fee will be due at the start of each fiscal year between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31.
The notice also provides additional information about late fees in connection with the annual fee as well as termination of the designation of any regional center due to late payment. Per the notice, USCIS will not impose late fees for payments that were due in FY 2023. USCIS will impose late fees beginning October 2023 for any payments made more than 30 days after the due date. The amount of late penalty and the process for collecting will be announced by USCIS in a future publication before it is collected or due. However, USCIS will terminate the designation of any regional center that does not pay the fee within 90 days of the due date. Termination will not be automatic and USCIS will provide a notice of intent to terminate and the opportunity for the regional center to prove that the fee was paid in the proper amount within 90 days of the due date before sending a notice of termination.
In addition, the notice includes an important reminder that the filing fee for Form I-526E, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor, increased by $1,000 on Oct. 1, 2022, to incorporate the Integrity Fund fees.