USCIS Proposal to Streamline EB-5 Processing Online Until June 17

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed enhancements to EB-5 Program processing. The proposal will be online until June 17, 2011 for public comment. The USCIS Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5 program) allows investors to obtain lawful permanent residence in the U.S. through investment and job creation. Applicants must invest in certain qualified investments or in USCIS-designated Regional Centers with high unemployment rates. They must invest at least $500,000 and create at least 10 jobs. 10,000 visas are available annually through this program.

USCIS is proposing three fundamental changes to the way it processes EB-5 Regional Center filings. First, USCIS proposes to accelerate its processing of applications for job-creating projects that are fully developed and ready to be implemented. USCIS will also give these EB-5 applicants and petitioners the option to request Premium Processing Service, which guarantees processing within 15 calendar days for an additional fee.

Second, USCIS proposes the creation of new specialized intake teams with expertise in economic analysis and the EB-5 Program requirements. EB-5 Regional Center applicants will be able to communicate directly with the specialized intake teams via e-mail to streamline the resolution of issues and quickly address questions or needs related to their applications.

Third, USCIS proposes to convene an expert Decision Board to render decisions regarding EB-5 Regional Center applications. The Decision Board will be composed of an economist and adjudicators and will be supported by legal counsel.

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