New Proposed Rule Will Enable Uscis to Process Certain Eb5 Visa Applications

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now seeking comments from the public on a new proposed rule that was published in the Federal Register on September 27, 2011 and regards the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa. This proposed rule, if finalized, will give USCIS the power to process particular EB-5 Immigrant Investor applications by immigrant investors that were approved between 1995 and 1998 under the fifth preference category of the U.S. immigrant visa program, the EB-5 category.

This proposed rule, if finalized, will implement certain parts of the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act and will apply to immigrant investors who received approval of their Forms I-526, the Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, between January 1, 1995, and August 31, 1998.

This rule applies in particular to and enables USCIS to process cases for the roughly 580 primary immigrant investors (and dependents) who received approval of their Forms I-526 during the above-stated time periods and who attempted to either register for permanent residence in the U.S. or adjust status (through Form I-485) or remove the conditions placed on permanent residence obtained as an alien entrepreneur (through Form I-829), prior to November 2, 2002.

In the proposed rule, most of these immigrant investors would be given another two-year period to meet requirements of the EB-5 program, as well as requirements to create jobs for U.S. workers. The proposed rule, if finalized, will not, however, apply to any other EB-5-related applications or petitions.

The public will be given 60 days to submit comments on the proposal, which is available by visiting .

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa program supports foreign investment in the United States by giving foreign nationals who invest at least $500,000 in a U.S. company or companies that lead to and maintain at least 10 full-time jobs in the United States, a path to citizenship. Ten thousand green cards are available each year for applicable immigrant investors, who, after a particular period of time, will be able to apply for citizenship, as will their applicable dependents.

To date, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program has spurred growth by bringing more than $1.5 billion in foreign investments to the United States. Roughly 31,000 full-time jobs have been created in the United States through this immigrant visa program. Immigration lawyers regularly work closely with foreign national investors and U.S.-based organizations and centers to assist in the process of applying for and obtaining EB-5 status.