USCIS Announces EB-5 Program Improvements

Posted on: May 19th, 2011
by Greg Siskind
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From USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas:

As many of you know, we at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are reviewing our policies and practices to ensure our careful and thoughtful administration of our nation’s immigration laws. A hallmark of our review is our engagement with you; your ideas and comments inform our decisions as we strive to implement the best ideas.

Through our review, your input, and other analysis, we have identified needed improvements to a wide array of policies and practices. Some of these improvements have been implemented and many are to follow. We look forward to your feedback as we make continued progress on these improvements.

As part of our broad review, and echoing President Obama’s call to promote immigrants’ entrepreneurial spirit, we have focused on the Immigrant Investor Program, commonly referred to as the EB-5 Program. It is a program designed to attract investors and entrepreneurs from around the world to create jobs in America. In the two decades since its creation, the EB-5 Program has never met the annual cap of 10,000 visas.

The EB-5 Program often involves complex applications and sophisticated business projects that require prompt attention and expert review in order to achieve their potential. Our focus on this program, and the input you have provided, has led us to propose a series of significant improvements to it. These changes include an accelerated adjudications process, with premium processing; the creation of specialized intake teams to handle the Form I-924 applications, coupled with the applicants’ ability to communicate directly with the specialized intake teams via email; and, the creation of an expert Decision Board to render decisions on the applications and to afford applicants with an in-person or telephonic interview to resolve issues.

In keeping with our commitment to soliciting your ideas and input, we have posted the proposal for public comment on the Operational Proposals for Comment page. We will accept your comments at opefeedback@uscis.dhs.gov for 20 business days, until June 17, 2011.