On December 3, 2015, USCIS released its annual reporting information and filing tips for the Form I-924A, Supplement to the Form I-924 (read the document here).1 This information is invaluable to Regional Centers participating in the EB5 Regional Center Program.
The Form I-924A must be filed annually between October 1 and December 29. Additionally, the Form I-924A may be requested by USCIS on other occasions. The document uses as an example that USCIS may request the Form I-924A if a Regional Center informs USCIS of a management change without filing an amendment.
All Regional Centers should study this document closely. This post will highlight some of the key points from USCIS's annual Form I-924A filing tips.
- The filing tips explain that the total number of direct and indirect jobs that were created in the relevant time period should be identified in Part 2 of the Form I-924A. “Jobs maintained” should only be reported for the relevant time period of there was an investment in a “troubled business.”
- It is important to provide job calculation methods. The document notes that two common methods are economic impact modeling and estimates based on the number of approved Form I-829 petitions. The document provides examples of both.
Perhaps most important among the tips, the document provides tips for dealing with Notices of Intent to Terminate (NOIT) and tips for avoiding them.
The document lists three reasons that a NOIT may be issued:
- No EB5 capital investment or job creation
- No approved or pending Forms I-526 or Forms I-829
- No indicators of Regional Center activity that may lead to the promotion of economic growth.
The document provides tips for possibly avoiding the issuance of a NOIT:
- Provide consistent documents
- Be aware of possible inconsistences and take time to explain them (there may be legitimate reasons for inconsistencies)
- Show work to explain calculations
- Provide supporting documents (e.g., copies of licenses, permits, property purchased in support of a project or other evidence of ongoing Regional Center activity).
Note that while these tips may help a Regional Center avoid an NOIT, the decision as to wither the evidence is sufficient to demonstrate the promotion of economic growth is made by USCIS on a case-by-case basis.
This document provides essential information to EB5 Regional Centers. However, it is not a substitute for consulting with an experienced immigration attorney in EB5 Regional Center issues for assistance in demonstrating on the Form I-924A that the Regional Center meets the rigorous EB5 requirements with regard to the promotion of economic growth.