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USCIS has just issued new guidance that provides clarity on the implications of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA) for investors in the EB-5 program. It primarily focuses on changes regarding the required investment timeframe and how investors associated with terminated regional centers are treated under the RIA. Here are the key points:
Investment Timeframe Clarification
For investors who filed on or after March 15, 2022, it’s clarified that they no longer need to maintain their investment throughout their conditional residence. Instead, the investment must be expected to remain invested for at least two years, provided job creation requirements are met. This two-year period begins on the date of the qualifying investment.
Treatment of Investors and Terminated Regional Centers
Before the RIA, the termination of a regional center could impact investor eligibility. However, the RIA introduced a provision (INA 203(b)(5)(M)) allowing good faith investors associated with terminated regional centers to retain eligibility. This provision is interpreted to apply to pre-RIA investors as well. Response deadlines for pre-RIA investors in such cases can be extended, and the impact of termination on eligibility depends on whether it’s due to administrative noncompliance or substantive reasons.
Handling Regional Center Termination
If a regional center is terminated for administrative noncompliance, it generally won’t affect the basic eligibility of pre-RIA investors. However, when termination occurs for substantive reasons that could impact investor eligibility, response deadlines may not be extended. The agency may request additional evidence to establish continued eligibility in such cases.
This summarizes the key points regarding changes to the EB-5 program and how investors associated with terminated regional centers are treated under the RIA.