+1-800-997-1228
Questions & Answers

When should an EB-5 regional center have I-924 approval?

I am considering investing in a regional center project. I have done my due diligence and visited the project personally - the developers and project progress look promising. However, the regional center does not yet have I-924 approval, and there have been no I-526 approvals since the first I-526 investor application was filed in late 2015. Is this something to be concerned about? At what point should the regional center have an approved I-924?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is not clear whether you mean an exemplar approval or a regional center approval. In order to be a designated regional center able to raise EB-5 capital, a regional center has to have an I-924 initial designation approved by USCIS. I suggest that you hire an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney to help you with your I-526 case. To have a higher degree of certainty, you would definitely want to have a regional center's I-924 approval as well as either an exemplar approval or first I-526 approval for a particular project.

  • Avatar

    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In fact, it can take a year or longer before a regional center has its application on Form I-924 approved. The fact that it has not been approved nor have there been any I-526 petitions approved should certainly be a factor. Generally speaking, when you make a decision regarding which project of which regional center you should invest in for purposes of acquiring your lawful permanent residency, the fact that the regional center has already been approved and has approved I-526 petitions gives you some greater degree of certainty with respect to that particular project. There are many other factors, including the length of time the developers of the project have been in business, their success rate, how long the regional center has been in business, its success rate and so forth.

  • Avatar

    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You need I-924 approval to become a regional center. I would wait until the approval is granted before committing your funds. If, however, you wish to maintain a position in the investment, you might consider placing your funds in an escrow account. The conditions for release of the funds could be when and if the I-924 is approved.

  • Avatar

    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A regional center is not authorized to raise EB-5 capital and to rely upon indirect job creation unless and until it has a regional center designation approval from the USCIS. So, you need to find out if the "I-924 approval" refers to the regional center entity's application for initial designation from USCIS to become a regional center, or if it refers to an amendment or actual or exemplar application that the already-designated regional center has submitted to the USCIS via a new I-924. Either way, the lack of I-924 approval and lack of any I-526 approval should be cause for concern. Until the regional center has some sort of approval, it cannot rely on any USCIS deference for its project or the supporting documents submitted on behalf of the project.

  • Avatar

    Robert Cornish

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    You should hire an attorney or a due diligence firm to kick tires on the deal and learn more about these things, along with the terms of the offering itself.

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    By I-924 approval you mean an exemplar approval. To be a regional center, you need an I-924 approval. Then if you file an exemplar, you need an approval. Having an I-526 approval is also evidence the project has been approved. So if one wants to be safe about a project, having an exemplar or first I-526 approval provides a level of confidence that the project has been accepted by USCIS. Moreover, the proposed bill H.R. 5992 provides grandfather protection to projects with exemplars filed and approved before June 1, 2015, or in the case of petitions, those approved prior to the date of enactment.

  • Avatar

    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I would be very careful here. There are groups out there who combine direct EB-5 investors for direct EB-5 projects and investments, but if without an approved I-924, I-526 petitions cannot be filed in the regional center context, meaning they cannot take advantage of indirect jobs. I would want to know a lot more about this group before investing.

Add your comment

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment.