Now that we have had time to internalize the great news that President Obama signed into law S. 3245 extending the EB-5 Regional Center program for an additional three years until September 30, 2015, it's time to focus back on regional center compliance.
I-924A filing season is upon us. The I-924A is used by the USCIS to determine if a regional center continues to be eligible for the Regional Center Designation that it was previously issued by the Immigration Service. To that effect, each designated regional center is required to file Form I-924A for each fiscal year detailing to the Immigration Service its activities over the course of the year. Specifically, the I-924A covers the time period of the government's fiscal year which runs from October 1st through September 30th of each year. The I-924A must be filed within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year which is on or before December 29th of the calendar year.
Failure to timely file the I-924A form can have severe consequences for regional centers. As of November 23, 2010, when the I-924A filing requirement was implemented the failure to file the form can result in the issuance of a notice of intent to terminate the regional center and may result in the termination of the approval and designation of the regional center, which can have grave consequences for investors.
The information requested in the I-924A requires the regional center to submit a detailed overview of its activities for the past fiscal year. This includes:
1. An accounting of the aggregate amount of EB-5 capital that has been invested by immigrant investors in the regional center.;
2. A reporting of the aggregate number of jobs created through investment in the regional center. Information should be provided on the number of direct, indirect, and induced jobs that have been created.;
3. In the case of a troubled business, information on the aggregate number of jobs that have been "saved" by EB-5 investment.;
4. Information on the industries (NAICS codes) in which the jobs have been created.;
5. Information on each new commercial enterprise and/ or job creating enterprise located within the geographic scope of the regional center. This should include the name, address and industries in which the new commercial enterprise and job creating enterprise operate.;
6. The number of Form I-526 petitions that have been approved, denied or revoked through the regional center.; and
7. The number of Form I-829 petitions that have been approved, denied or revoked through the regional center.
All I-924A filings are made to the California Service Center and do no currently have a filing fee. When reviewing the filing, USCIS may require case-specific information relating to individual EB-5 petition filings as well as additional information on job creation methodologies and allocation methods utilized by the regional center to verify the aggregate data.
As part of their due diligence, EB-5 investors should always request confirmation from the regional center that this filing was made by the center timely. Moreover, much of the information that investors are interested in when evaluating investment through a regional center is included in the I-924A filing to USCIS and investors may be interested in reviewing that information when making an investment decision.