During its most recent stakeholders teleconference, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) reminded participants that regional center reports for 2015 Fiscal Year were due on October 1, 2015, and must be filed by no later than December 29, 2015. USCIS recommended that regional centers complete all fields on Form I-924A, and timely file the required reports.
USCIS also advised that it was scrutinizing the information provided by the regional centers in an effort to reduce fraud. Additionally, USCIS informed stakeholders that its agents would be conducting site visits to regional center offices, and that these site visits could result in interviews with regional center owners, principals, and staffers. In some instances, to verify the information provided on the annual reports as well as the centers’ activities over the past year, USCIS may compare the information provided on Form I-924A to current I-526 and I-829 Petitions filed with USCIS with a particular emphasis on to the amount of the investment and the number of jobs created over fiscal year 2015. As such, it is crucial that regional centers maintain accurate records and that the information on the Form I-924A be correct.
In sum, regional centers are required to file Form I-924A in order demonstrate their continuing eligibility for designation as a regional center and participation in the EB-5 program. Failure to properly and timely file Form I-924A could result in USCIS issuing a Notice of Intent to Terminate (NOIT) the regional’s designation. Consequently, regional centers are advised to timely comply with the USCIS annual reporting obligations required by Form I-924A or potentially risk having their regional center designation terminated, and thereby terminated its participation in the EB-5 Regional Center Program. Because the ramifications of losing the regional center designation is significant, regional centers should seek the advice of immigration counsel to ensure that the regional center is timely and properly filing their Form I-924A with the required supporting evidence.
For more information, please contact Maria del Carmen Ramos at 813.227.2252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.