USCIS Director Mayorkas Outlines Ongoing EB-5 Program Improvements

This afternoon, USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas hosted a small group discussion regarding ongoing concerns with the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, as part of his new Conversations with the Director initiative. Among the 25 in-person attendees was Ed Carroll, representing the interests of this firm’s clients.

Director Mayorkas outlined an ongoing agenda of improvements to the EB-5 program, including the hiring of economists and business analysts in an effort to bring real-world insight into EB-5 case processing. The business analysts have been hired and will be involved in the EB-5 unit’s operations “within 2-3 weeks,” and applications for the economist positions are under review.

Attendees raised several key issues of ongoing concern to participants in the EB-5 program, including:

– Reliance on state TEA designations;

– Clarification of policy regarding use of investor funds to pay off bridge financing;

– The locus of authority for policymaking;

– Alternatives for ameliorating the “age-out” problem in the event of a “material change”; and

– Multiple-project venture capital funds as EB-5 commercial enterprises.

Director Mayorkas listened attentively to participants’ comments and expressed a commitment to refining the operation of the EB-5 program in ways that removed agency-related barriers to investor confidence while retaining the integrity of the system. “Our goal,” he said, “is to move with speed and predictability sufficient to remove any negative influence” on investor participation.

We look forward to more tomorrow during the agency’s Quarterly Engagement.

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