The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (“RIA”) brought sweeping changes to the way
Regional Centers operate. Fundamental to the RIA framework is the process by which Regional
Centers (1) maintain their pre-RIA designations, (2) file their annual reports (previously the
Form I-924A), and (3) seek capital investment project approval (previously, the exemplar
approval on the Form I-924).
This FAQ is certainly not exhaustive. However, answers to frequently asked questions are
offered based on RIA-related developments to date.
Our regional center was previously approved pre-RIA and remained in good standing throughout. What do I need to do?
Under the terms of the settlement agreement between Behring Regional Center LLC, et al. v. Mayorkas, et al., No. 3:22-cv-2487-VC (N.D. Cal.) and EB-5 Capital, et al., v. United States Department of Homeland Security, et al., Case No. 3:22-cv-3948-VC (N.D. Cal.) dated August 23, 2022 (the “Settlement Agreement”), you must file the Form I-956 by December 29, 2022 to keep your designation.
Note that under the Settlement Agreement, you are not currently deauthorized and remain designated as long as you timely file the Form I-956. You will file the I-956 as an Amendment to a Previously Approved Regional Center.
Same pre-RIA approved regional center. Do we need to file the Form I-956G for the Annual Statement?
It depends. If you are a regional center seeking continued designation, then my view is yes, you must file the Form I-956G by December 29, 2022. If you are a pre-RIA approved regional enter, but you do not seek continued designation, then my interpretation of the Settlement Agreement is that no, you do not need to file the Form I- 956G. This view may change if there is further guidance, instruction, or other related development.
We are a pre-RIA approved regional center. However, we do not wish to continue operating as a regional center under the RIA. Do we need to do anything?
Under the Settlement Agreement, I would say no. If you do not file a Form I-956 by December 29, 2022, you will not be able to engage in any regional center activities, including sponsoring EB-5 investors and raising EB-5 capital for new projects through your regional center.
Same pre-RIA approved regional center that does not wish to continue operating as a regional center. How will our investors be affected?
Under the Settlement Agreement, even if you do not file a Form I-956, USCIS will continue to process your investors I-526 and I-829 petitions. USCIS will also continue to accept future I-829 petitions based on pre-RIA I-526 petitions. The fact that you do not file a Form I-956 will not, by itself, be a basis for USCIS to deny your investor’s I-526 or I-829 petition.
We filed our I-956 to continue our designation before the Settlement Agreement. Do we need to do anything?
You do not need to submit another Form I-956. You also do not need to wait for your previously filed Form I-956 to be approved to continue operations or to have your investors file and receive adjudications on their filings. Note, you may receive an e-mail request for clarification, confirming that there is no amendment to your prior approved designation.
We are a pre-RIA approved regional center and we have a new project we’d like to launch under the RIA. What do we need to do?
First, you must file your I-956 by December 29, 2022. Second, you must file a Form I-956F before any investor may files an EB-5 petition with the project. The Form I-956F replaces the prior Form I-924 exemplar application and requires project-specific documents as well as new RIA-specific representations and certifications.
Your investors must file the Form I-526E with specified proof of I-956F filing. The specific
proof may be the I-956F receipt notice. If the I-956F receipt notice is not issued within 10 calendar days of the physical filing delivery, then USCIS will also accept (1) USCIS lockbox notice with a copy of the first 6 pages of the filed I-956F, or proof of cashed check or credit card. Your investors must “interfile” with the I-956F receipt once it issues.
We are a pre-RIA approved regional center with an approved pre-RIA exemplar I-924 for a project for which we’d like to continue raising EB-5 capital and accept new investors. What do we need to do?
You must file the Form I-956F before any investor files an EB-5 petition with the project.
Consistent with the RIA, all aspects of the previously approved I-924 will be binding for
purposes of the new I-956F filing, except if there is fraud, material change, or other disqualifying event. USCIS will also review for any new requirements under the RIA. You should also file your I-956 by December 29, 2022.
What is the Form I-956H?
The Form I-956H is required to be filed by “persons involved with a regional center,
new commercial enterprise, or affiliated job-creating entity” to establish the good faith – or bonafides – requirements of persons involved with the regional center, NCE, or affiliated JCE.
A person is involved with a regional center, NCE or affiliated JCE if the person is: “directly or indirectly, in a position of substantive authority to make operational or managerial decisions over pooling, securitization, investment, release, acceptance or control or use of any funding. A person may be in a position of substantive authority if they serve as a principal, a representative, an administrator, an owner, an officer, a board member, a manager, an executive, a general partner, a fiduciary, an agent or in a similar position at the regional center, NCE, or JCE, respectively.”
Each person must complete a I-956H for each entity with which they are involved for submission with any related form. For example, if submitting the I-956 for regional center designation, then the I-956H must be filed for persons involved with the regional center.
Who should submit the I-956H?
A person with decision-making authority would be a person involved. This involves
internal discussions within the organization to analyze and apply criteria to determine who should complete the Form I-956H.
What about the RIA Integrity Fee that regional centers have to pay? Do we have any further instruction on how and where to pay the fee?
As of today, there is no instruction yet on the Integrity Fee payment.