October 3, 2023
On or around September 29, 2023, USCIS published an alert on the “EB-5 What’s New” page regarding fiscal year 2023 and fiscal year 2024 integrity fund payments. The entire notice is pasted below.
The notice indicates several items of importance:
- FY 2023 integrity fee payments due May 31, 2023 have been continued to be accepted past that date. The new due date for FY 2023 payments was October 1, 2023, according to this alert.
- USCIS appears to be holding to the interpretation that Previously Designated Regional Centers (“PARCs”) – including presumably regional centers not seeking to operate under the RIA must nevertheless pay the integrity fee. Note the language: “This extension includes regional centers designated before enactment of the RIA.”
- Implication: PARCs that are formally terminated, however, would be exempt from the integrity fee.
- It is unclear whether PARCS not filing a Form I-956 would be terminated, however. The Behring Settlement makes clear the investor petitions associated with PARCS not filing a Form I-956 will not, standing alone, suffer a denial.
- However, if a PARC does not pay the integrity fee, the Alert appears to say that the PARC may be terminated.
- The due date for FY 2024 (October 1, 2023 to September 30, 2024) is October 1, 2023, which has already passed.
- However, under the RIA, the fee can be paid up to 30 days later without penalty, or October 31. In fact, the Federal Register Notice states the payment period as “required to be paid between October 1st and October 31st of the same year.”
- If the FY 2023 and FY 2024 fee are not paid on or before December 30, 2023, the Alert indicates USCIS will “take steps to terminate” the nonpaying regional center.
- To emphasize the point, the Alert ends with: “NOTE: We will reject Integrity Fund fee payments for FY 2023 and FY 2024 we receive after Dec. 30, 2023, including those made in response to a Notice of Intent to Terminate.”
We will discuss the Integrity Fee and the I-956G filing on our upcoming webcast on October 18, 2023. To register, click here.
2023/10/23 Update: The video recording of the October 18, 2023 “Investment Immigration Conversations” on this topic is now available here.