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If the EB-5 Regional Center Program is set to expire, how long do we have to file our I-526s?

If EB-5 Regional Center Program expires in September this year, does that mean that we need to file our I-526s and have them approved by that date? What is the likelihood of the program actually expiring?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you plan to file an I-526 petition under current law, it is highly advisable that you file as soon as possible and prior to the sunset date of 9/30/2017.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Only a part of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (the Regional Center Program) is set to sunset in September. If you are planning to file using direct investment, there is no effect except some proposed legislation to increase the minimum investment amounts, how Targeted Employment Area is determined, etc., which would affect all EB-5 processing. Also, there is very little to no likelihood the program would expire before either another short-term extension or a longer term solution.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Current EB-5 regulations and policy emphasize the filing of the I-526 petition before the expiration of the EB-5 Regional Center Program on September 28. The approval of the I-526 petition does not have to be approved before September 28. The consensus in the EB-5 industry is that the EB-5 Regional Center Program will continue.

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    Abhinav Lohia

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are multiple proposals before the Congress. Since everything is subject to a vote in Congress, it is hard to say with certainty what will happen to the EB-5 program. However, we can express our opinion in terms of likelihood. First, it is not necessary to get an approval by September. It is highly unlikely that the changes will have retroactive effects on your application. Your priority date is set on the date the application is filed. Secondly, it is highly unlikely the program will not be extended, however, there is a high likelihood of the investment amount increasing.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is true that the EB-5 Regional Center program will sunset unless extended by the U.S. Congress on September 30, 2017. Thus, it would be important to file your EB-5 Investor Petition on Form I-526 as soon as you have made your investment decision. However, it is anticipated that the program will not only be extended by Congress (given the fact that it is a very popular program in Congress with both Democrats and Republicans alike) but there is also a reasonable possibility that Congress will also enact EB-5 regional center reform legislation which will substantially increase the minimum dollar investment from $500,000 to as much as $1 million or more. Thus, the safest thing to do is to file your I-526 petition as soon as reasonably possible in order to be grandfathered under any new law that Congress may pass.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You only need to file the I-526 petition prior to September to initiate the process. Generally, it usually takes several months to process an I-526. In essence, it is virtually impossible to have any petition filed between now in July and approved in September. Therefore, any petition filed at this moment, July, would continue to be pending after September and it would be adjudicated by the USCIS even if the law under which the petition was filed has sunset. As to the EB-5 program itself, there are signs it will not expire and cease to exist; the most likely scenario is that the program will continue with perhaps some legislative changes from the Congress and the Trump administration initiatives.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It would need to be filed prior to September 30. No one knows if it will be extended and, if it is, what the new requirements will be.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your I-526 EB-5 application must be on file with USCIS by or before September 30, 2017. Do not take any chances. Your Investment Immigration Attorney will want to file it as soon as possible to avoid any chance of missing the deadline.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There has been significant progress from Congress to extend the regional center program. However, in the unlikely event that the program actually expires, the rule of thumb has been that any petition filed by the expiration date is accepted and will be adjudicated as these petitions were approvable when the program was still in effect.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is likely that the regional center program will be extended even though it is currently is set to expire on 09/30/2017.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The regional center program expires on September 30, 2017, but has been extended at least 10 times since 1993. While most believe it will be extended again, please anticipate either major statutory changes and/or major regulatory changes to reform the program. These changes will focus on increasing the minimum investment to either $800,000 for targeted employment area-type investments and about $1,000,000 for non-TEA. It is possible we may see regulatory changes before this date and most peopled are hoping this does not occur because the regulation that was proposed in January increases the minimum investment amount to $1,350,000 for TEA and $1,800,000 for non-TEA. I would definitely want to get my application filed in the next month if possible, with the hope that Congress will not make any bill retroactive.

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