Thursday, May 19, 2011

USCIS Proposes Significant Enhancements to EB-5 Visa

Thursday, May 19, 2011 | , ,

USCIS Proposes Significant Enhancements to EB-5 Visa

released May 19, 2011

Actions Will Streamline Program Designed to Create Jobs

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today proposed significant enhancements to the administration of the USCIS Immigrant Investor Program, commonly referred to as the EB-5 Program—transforming the intake and review process for immigrant investors as part of the Obama administration’s continued commitment to improve the legal immigration system and meet our economic and national security needs for the 21st century.

The EB-5 Program makes 10,000 visas available annually to immigrant investors who invest in commercial enterprises that create at least 10 U.S. jobs. EB-5 investors may petition independently or as part of a USCIS-designated Regional Center.

“Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to attract investors and entrepreneurs from around the globe to create jobs in America,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “We are dedicated to enhancing this program to ensure that it achieves that goal to the fullest extent possible.”

USCIS is proposing three fundamental changes to the way it processes EB-5 Regional Center filings. First, USCIS proposes to accelerate its processing of applications for job-creating projects that are fully developed and ready to be implemented. USCIS will also give these EB-5 applicants and petitioners the option to request Premium Processing Service, which guarantees processing within 15 calendar days for an additional fee.

Second, USCIS proposes the creation of new specialized intake teams with expertise in economic analysis and the EB-5 Program requirements. EB-5 Regional Center applicants will be able to communicate directly with the specialized intake teams via e-mail to streamline the resolution of issues and quickly address questions or needs related to their applications.

Third, USCIS proposes to convene an expert Decision Board to render decisions regarding EB-5 Regional Center applications. The Decision Board will be composed of an economist and adjudicators and will be supported by legal counsel.

This proposal will be online until June 17, 2011, for public comment—providing stakeholders an opportunity to offer feedback on the proposed changes to the administration of the EB-5 Program.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscisExit Disclaimer), YouTube (/uscisExit Disclaimer) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.

Operational Proposals for Comment

USCIS seeks your input on the operational proposal listed below. After review and consideration of the received comments, USCIS will determine what, if any, changes it should make to this operational proposal, or if other agency action is required.

Comment Process: Please e-mail all comments to Please include the following to make your comments clear:

  • State the title of the relevant proposal in the subject line of your message;
  • Refer to a specific portion of the proposal;
  • Explain the reason for any recommended change; and
  • Include data, information, or authority that supports the recommendation.

You have 20 days to review and submit comments on the proposal. USCIS may distribute any comments received (including any personal information and contact information) on its public website or to those who request copies. By providing comments, you consent to their use and consideration by USCIS, and you acknowledge that your comments may become public. USCIS cannot guarantee that it will acknowledge or respond to any comments submitted.

See the Feedback Updates for the status of all reviewed memoranda/ proposals and links to published memoranda/ proposals.

Background and Additional Legal Information: USCIS is not required to solicit public comment on operational proposals under the Administrative Procedure Act. This informal comment process does not replace any statutory or other legal requirement for public comment on agency action.

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