The EB-5 Integrity and Reform Act, which was passed in March 2022, requires regional centers to file new forms I-956 and I-956G by the deadline, which is December 29, 2022. But several days before the deadline, USCIS posted an alert stating that the date was cancelled, pursuant to the Behring Settlement.
The U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will extend the deadline for filing forms I-956 and I-956G until more information is known to better clarify the requirements of the forms. This document must be submitted to apply for USCIS designation as a regional center.
“USCIS has not issued the guidance to previously designated regional centers that the settlement in the EB5 Capital/Behring lawsuit required,” said Robert Divine, leader of the Global Immigration Group at Baker Donelson.
In addition, he said that USCIS appears to have realized that applying Form I-956G to pre-RIA projects is too confusing. Therefore, USCIS has not given any indication as to when the new guidance will be issued or when the new deadline for I-956 and I-956G filings will be.
For her part, Laura Foote Reiff, immigration attorney at Greenberg Traurig, said: “We are not sure exactly why the agency extended the filing deadlines for the new Forms I-956 and I-956G. We believe there are concerns about the interaction between existing Regional Centers and newly formed Regional Centers and how the agency, through these new ways, can address these two distinct groups.”
USCIS extended more EB-5 deadlines
Laura Foote also stated that USCIS has also extended the public comment period for both forms and other forms for an additional 30 days, ending on January 26, 2023.
“We hope the agency will review all of the comments on these forms and then come up with fair guidance on which entities should complete the forms and when,” Reiff said.
An important question that remains unresolved is what will happen if the Regional Centers do not submit the document before the new deadline. It is not known if they will be terminated, have to file a Form I-956H, file annual returns, or if any of the RIA requirements even apply to them. The decision has not yet been revealed by USCIS.
The published minutes of the October 14, 2022 meeting between USCIS and the Behring litigation plaintiffs indicate that there are many more questions to be addressed and decisions to be made well into the new year.
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