The EB-5 program, set to expire on September 30th,2012, will be extended by three years if the House votes tomorrow to accept Senate Bill 3245 which passed the Senate last month. The bill is expected to pass by a voice vote so it should be signed by the President shortly.
Meanwhile, Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service, the entity that oversees issuance of Visas to the U.S. announced that USCIS would be creating a new office to oversee administration of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program.
In a statement addressed to stakeholders, Mr Mayorkas stated “The EB-5 program has spurred the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs and the injection of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy since Congress created the program in 1990. Interest in the EB-5 program has grown exponentially in recent years, both from domestic project developers seeking capital and foreign investors who have the capital that can fuel economic growth. USCIS has met this unprecedented growth and interest with a corresponding dedication of resources. USCIS has approved more than 3,100 Form I-526 petitions in Fiscal Year 2012 to date, more than triple the number approved in all of Fiscal Year 2009. Since 2009, we have quadrupled the size of the EB-5 adjudications team and brought on board eight expert economists dedicated to the EB-5 program to ensure that EB-5 cases are handled expeditiously and with appropriate expertise. In the next month, two full-time attorneys with substantial transactional experience will enter on duty as new additions to the USCIS EB-5 program team. And by the end of July, a special Review Board consisting of two Supervisory Immigration Services Officers and one economist will review every pending application for regional center designation for which a denial has been recommended, with applicants receiving the opportunity to discuss their cases in-person before any final adverse decision is rendered”
The statement went on to say that the office would be led by a new Chief of Immigrant Investor Programs who has not been selected yet, but an advertisement offering the position has been publicly announced.