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USCIS Issues Guidance on Lapsed Authorization for EB-5 Regional Center


Statutory authorization for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program lapsed on June 30, 2021, at midnight. Although this lapse in authorization does not affect investors who have filed EB-5 petitions who are not seeking visas under the Regional Center Program, it does affect others who have filed or attempted to file related forms on or after July 1, 2021. As a result, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued some guidance for people who participate in or wish to participate in this program in the future.

USCIS Will Reject Forms I-924 and I-526

Due to the lapse in statutory authority for the Regional Center Program, USCIS has begun rejecting the following forms:

  • Form I-924 – Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program (unless the application is simply to change the regional center’s name, organizational structure, ownership, or administration),
  • Form I-526 – Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor (when the applicant’s investment is associated with an approved regional center), and, when based on an approved Regional Center Form I-526:
    • Form I-485 – Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
    • Form I-765 – Application for Employment Authorization
    • Form I-131 – Application for Travel Document

Furthermore, if you received any correspondence from USCIS in response to your petition or application dated before June 30, 2021, you should review that correspondence and respond by any stated deadlines.

Impact of the Regional Center Program Authorization Lapse

Investors who already received their EB-5 visas will see no impact of the authorization lapse concerning the Regional Center Program. USCIS will continue to accept Forms I-829 from these investors, even if filed after June 30, 2021.

You also should continue to update information for approved regional centers via email at: USCIS.ImmigrantInvestorProgram@uscis.dhs.gov  or by mail at:

USCIS, Immigrant Investor Program
131 M Street NE
3rd Floor, Mailstop 2235
Washington, DC 20529

The most significant consequence of the lapse in authorization is that USCIS will not accept new petitions associated with a regional center or approve any new regional centers.

Future of the Regional Center Program

It is up to Congress to act to reauthorize the Regional Center Program, hopefully soon. Most immigration advocates believe that the lapse in authorization is only temporary, as the program is an integral part of driving economic growth. Negotiations surrounding the program at the congressional level continue. The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act, which would have reauthorized the program, is being considered. However, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) blocked efforts to fast-track the bill, which required unanimous consent. Other pieces of legislation that would include the reauthorization of this program also are under consideration by Congress.

As a result, prospective EB-5 investors should take advantage of the temporary lapse in authorization by continuing to work on their petitions and obtaining the documents necessary to support that petition.

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