USCIS Retains $500,000 Minimum Investment Amount After Behring Regional Center’s Voluntary Appeal Rejection | jackson walker

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on January 5, 2022, filed an unopposed motion to dismiss its August 2021 appeal to a district court ruling in Behring Regional Center LLC v. Chad Wolf, et al. The previous ruling concluded that former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan was not properly appointed and therefore exceeded his legal authority by issuing the EB Investor Immigration Program Modernization Rule. -5 of July 2019, a final rule which implemented substantial changes to the EB-5 immigrant investment program.

Following the motion to dismiss without opposition, the following four characteristics of the EB-5 Program will remain in place:

  • Minimum investment amounts: The standard minimum investment amount for the EB-5 program is $1 million and the minimum investment in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) is $500,000. This reduction in the minimum investment amount will make the EB-5 direct investment option available to families looking to move to the United States for business and personal reasons.
  • No priority date retention: Under the Modernization Rule, some EB-5 petitioners were allowed to retain the priority date of a previously approved EB-5 petition when filing a new petition. This conservation of the priority date is not allowed.
  • AME designations: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to rely on state and local governments to designate certain areas as high unemployment areas.
  • Conditions of permanent residence: Derivative family members no longer need to file their own petitions to remove conditions from their permanent residence when they are not included in a petition to remove conditions filed by the principal investor.

Even with the news of the recent layoff, the EB-5 Regional Immigrant Investor Center program remains lapsed as of June 2021. Currently, USCIS is reassessing the decision to withhold or not proceed with any pending petitions or applications for the forms following received on or after July 1, 2021:

  • Form I-924 (Application for Immigrant Investor Program Regional Center Designation), unless the application is to change the name, organizational structure, ownership, or administration of a regional center;
  • Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor) when the investment is associated with an approved regional center; and
  • Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) and all associated forms, including I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and I-131 (Application for Travel Document), based on a Form I -526 from the approved regional center.

USCIS continues to accept and review the Form I-526 Petition under the Direct EB-5 program, Form I-829 (A Contractor’s Petition to Remove Conditions of Permanent Resident Status), and the Form I-924A (Regional Center Annual Certification).

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