Federal Court Blocks USCIS Re-Designation Policy for EB-5 Regional Centers

Washington, D.C., June 27, 2022: On June 24, 2022, the federal court for the Northern District of California issued a Preliminary Injunction blocking USCIS from requiring new I-956 re-designation applications from EB-5 Regional Centers designated prior to the effective date of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (“RIA”).

Why Was Court’s Decision Issued?

The federal court’s decision was issued on the heels of a USCIS policy released on April 11, 2022 that interpreted the RIA as having de-authorized all EB-5 Regional Centers designated by USCIS prior to the effective date of the RIA on March 15, 2022. Under the April 2022 policy, USCIS required all EB-5 Regional Centers to file a new application for designation under the RIA on Form I-956 Application for Regional Center Designation.

The federal court, however, disagreed with the USCIS. Its decision effectively stops USCIS from requiring re-certification of EB-5 Regional Centers designated by USCIS before March 15, 2022.

The court’s decision is not final and is subject to further proceedings, including a ruling on whether to grant plaintiff a permanent injunction; potential appeals of any orders issued as well as potential new policy statements from USCIS.

What’s the Importance of the Preliminary Injunction?

The key practical implication of the Preliminary Injunction is that investors will be eligible to file new I-526 visa petitions under the RIA as soon as Regional Centers file an I-956F Application for Approval of an Investment.

As of today’s date, the Preliminary Injunction issued on June 24, 2022 is in effect. USCIS has not issued any new policy guidance regarding Form I-956 Applications for Regional Center Designation or Form I-956F Applications for Approval of an Investment.

Donoso & Partners, a leading immigration law firm based in Washington, D.C., will continue to report on developments regarding the immigration law and policy through our news section of donosolaw.com.

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