USCIS Fourth Quarter I-526 and I-829 Data Released for FY 2017

USCIS recently updated its online data for I-526 and I-829 Petitions to include Q3 of fiscal year 2017. During Q3 (April through June), the Investor Program Office (IPO) significantly increased its processing of I-829 Petitions, outpacing the receipt of new petitions for the first time in years—and by a significant margin. This increase in processing […]

Navigating EB-5 Project Challenges

As the EB-5 industry expands and matures, it continues to face several serious challenges that threaten the integrity of the program as a whole. These concerns include fraud, misuse of investor funds, and other improper actions undertaken by regional centers and developers—which, in turn, might lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate. […]

USCIS Announces Regional Center Compliance Audits

On March 20, 2017, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced new EB-5 regional center compliance audits. Generally speaking, these audits are intended to enhance integrity within the EB-5 Program, to ensure that regional centers are operating in compliance with the law, and to determine whether they are promoting regional economic growth and job […]

Upcoming Changes to EB-5 Minimum Investment Amounts

For some time now, EB-5 professionals have been anticipating possible changes to the program—either through legislation or through regulation. Each time the EB-5 Program has been due for renewal over the past several years, some level of concern and speculation has arisen regarding potential changes to the program. The EB-5 Program is once again due […]

2017 Changes to the EB-5 Program and Industry Landscape

The EB-5 Program may be facing a number of changes in 2017 from a number of sources—a new administration focused on addressing immigration, a legislature poised to enact comprehensive immigration reform, newly proposed regulations by USCIS, and changes to Chinese capital export restrictions. Taken together, these factors indicate a high probability that changes will occur […]

Proposed EB-5 Program Revisions – January, 2017

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has proposed a number of revisions to the EB-5 Program. These revisions were published in the Federal Register on January 13, 2017, and written comments will be accepted through April 11, 2017. The four primary revisions under consideration are […]

EB-5 Program Poised for Success under Trump Administration

After a contentious and in many ways unprecedented election season, one question looms in the minds of many: What next? What will President Trump do and how will his actions shape the future of the EB-5 Program? Much of Donald Trump’s platform relied on tough talk, particularly toward immigration, and as a result, many immigration […]

Five Recent Causes of RFEs and NOIDs for I-526 Petitions

In response to changing economic needs and securities regulations over the years, various trends have emerged in the adjudication of EB-5 visa petitions as United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) focuses on new areas of concern within the program. As the I-526 petition is a crucial determiner of whether investors successfully navigate program requirements […]

USCIS Fee Increases Announced 10/28/2016

Today the Federal Register published U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule, a final rule adjusting the fees required for most immigration applications and petitions. Out of the above changes, the fee increase for Form I-924 is the most significant – a 186% increase from $6,230 to $17,795. This fee increase applies to new regional […]

Preparing for Changes in the EB-5 Program

Recent uncertainty regarding the future of the EB-5 Program harkens back to temporary shakeups in 2013 brought about by the publication of the May 30 memorandum by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). While EB-5 practitioners were quick to adapt to the adjustments outlined in the memo, similar concerns have arisen in the present […]

Primary Elements of a Safe EB-5 Project

The evolution of the EB-5 market has encouraged investors to undertake increased levels of due diligence prior to committing to projects. Aside from assessing whether a project will remain financially viable throughout the visa application period and beyond, investors have been encouraged by recent actions concerning EB-5 projects by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) […]

Marketing the EB-5 Program in India

India has a long history of emigration beginning in colonial times and culminating in the recent migration of educated laborers to the West, Southeast Asia, and the Arabian Gulf. With its booming population and substantial middle class, India currently poses a significant opportunity for EB-5 developers. The Indian Economy In 2013, India was facing its […]

Marketing the EB-5 Program in Latin America

Recent delays in the processing of EB-5 visa petitions from Chinese investors have encouraged regional centers to focus on Latin America as a potential investment source. Despite political and social instability over the past decades, many Latin American countries are now experiencing economic growth, and the United States has emerged as an appealing destination for […]

EB-5 Regional Center Investments for Brazilian EB-5 Investors

The EB-5 Program offers unique opportunities for investors in Brazil to immigrate to the United States. However, despite the fact that Brazil has the largest economy and population in Latin America, few Brazilian EB-5 investors have applied for EB-5 visas over the past years. The reasons for this are twofold: Firstly, the booming economy in […]

Overcoming the Challenges Facing Iranian EB-5 Investors

Although Iranian EB-5 investors currently represent a small percentage of the overall number of EB-5 cases, only 0.7% as of 2014, recent changes brought about by the issuance of a general license by the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) have opened a door for this untapped market. However, immigration attorneys and Iranian investors poised […]

EB-5 Petition Processing Statistics USCIS: Q2 2016

On May 31st, 2016 USCIS released official statistics on current I-526 and I-829 processing through March, 2016 (Q2 of FY2016). I-526 Petition Trends The most recent quarter (Q2 FY2016) showed a substantial decrease in new I-526 filings due to the extraordinarily high number of filings in the previous two quarters. I-526 filings spiked at the […]

EB-5 Petition Filings Stronger than Ever and Growing

EB-5 Petition Filings Stronger than Ever and Growing According to recently released data from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an increased number of EB-5 filings has resulted in a growing backlog of pending petitions. The updated data from USCIS provides numbers for Q1 of FY2016.   Increased Number of I-526 Petitions The record number […]

USCIS Proposed Fee Changes for the Regional Center Program  

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently published a notice on proposed changes to USCIS’ fee schedule for the EB-5 Regional Center Program.  Key Highlights of the Proposed USCIS Fee Changes:  Annual Form I-924A Filing: $3,035 fee – – Additional new fee for all existing Regional Centers Form I-924 Application Filing: Increase from $6,230 to $17,795 – […]

Secrets to Bringing an EB-5 Project to Market

The EB5Investors conference in Las Vegas in January, 2016 had 800+ attendees and was the largest EB-5 gathering in US history. One of our founding partners, Mike Schoenfeld, participated on the EB-5 Myth-busters panel. This was a panel geared at newer members of the industry and the content was focused on helping participants understand the […]

Should you file an I-924 “Exemplar” Petition before September 30th?

Since the introduction on June 3, 2015 of the bipartisan American Job Creation and Investment Promotion Reform Act by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) the Grassley / Leahy Bill, there is increased discussion on whether potential projects should file an I-924 “exemplar” petition prior to September 30th, 2015, the date on which […]

Why are Hotel Projects so Popular for EB5 Regional Centers?

Why are Hotel Construction Projects so Popular for EB5 Regional Centers? New hotel construction is one of the most popular types of EB5 regional center investment today. The reasons behind this relate to the two primary goals for EB5 investors: (1) Obtaining a Visa (with the highest chance of it becoming permanent) and (2) Return of Investment Principal […]

Updated Processing Times from USCIS

USCIS updated the processing times for the Immigrant Investor Program Office on February 11, 2015. The processing times are slightly longer than previous figures: 14 months for I-526 Petitions. 11.4 Months for I-829 Petitions. 11.1 months for I-924 Applications. The processing times can be accessed at the following link:

Implications of EB-5 Visa Retrogression

While the mechanics of visa retrogression on a per-country basis are complex, the reality is that there are only 10,000 visas available each USCIS fiscal year in the EB-5 category. Since each investor has an average of approximately 2 family members applying alongside them, this means that there are roughly 3,300 EB-5 investors that USCIS […]

Impact of Current EB-5 Processing Times

On October 24, 2014, USCIS released an updated EB-5 Processing Report of average processing times for the Immigrant Investor Program Office as of August 31, 2014. This recent report indicates that current average processing times are 13.8 months for Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Entrepreneur); 7.2 months for Form I-829 (Petition by Entrepreneur to […]

Targeted Employment Areas

Getting an EB-5 project a targeted employment area (TEA) designation can be incredibly important for EB-5 investors. The required EB-5 investment amount is lowered from $1 million to $500,000 if the EB-5 project is conducted in a targeted employment area.

EB-5 in the Capital Structure

The EB-5 program allows for the flexible use of the investment funds. It can serve as equity funding or serve as junior, unsecured mezzanine debt. EB-5 funding is ideal for filling in the typical

EB-5 China Market Landscape

In the past year we have seen a significant spike in new entrants to the EB-5 market in China. With USCIS I-526 times projected to decrease, the number of potential projects for which EB-5 capital could work has largely increased.

USCIS May 2014 Call Transcript

Prepared Remarks of Nicholas Colucci, Chief, Immigrant Investor Program, USCIS USCIS投资移民项目主任Nicholas Colucci发言稿 Prepared Remarks of Nicholas Colucci Nicholas Colucci发言稿