Recently, the Immigrant Investor Program Office (IIPO) has begun issuing “limited” decisions on regional center applications. These limited decisions by the IIPO approve a Form I-924, Application for Regional Center under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, but only approve certain parts of the Form I-924 and reject others. Accordingly, the IIPO-issued Form I-924 approval notice typically will approve the regional center, but limit the scope of its requested geographic or industry categories. For example, if a regional center files a Form I-924 based on a hypothetical hotel project, but requests industry categories in health care, USCIS may deny those industry categories it determines are not supported by the hypothetical project submitted with the Form I-924.
This is a positive, because USCIS’ previous policy of rejecting a Form I-924 or issuing multiple requests for evidences or notices of intents to deny, significantly delayed the adjudication of a Form I-924 and frustrated many EB-5 stakeholders. It appears USCIS will now reject certain components of a Form I-924 it deems unworthy of approval, but still issue an approval for a regional center if that regional center can provide support in other areas. To a certain extent, this makes more sense than the previous process because a regional center’s geographical scope and industry categories may be amended through the filing of a Form I-526, Immigrant Petitioner by Alien Entrepreneur, per the binding May 30, 2013 USCIS EB-5 Policy Memorandum. IIPO processing times for Form I-924s have increased, and hopefully these “limited” decisions will decrease processing times.