Earlier this week, IIUSA, the national association representing over 200 regional centres and many other industry stakeholders, sent a letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expressing the industry need for clarity on redeployment since the 2017 revisions to the USCIS policy manual.
The EB-5 Regional Center program requires that investor capital remains at risk in the new commercial enterprise (NCE) until the investors have met their conditional residency requirements. If the job-creating entity (JCE) repays the capital to the NCE before all EB-5 green card investors have met their conditional residency requirements, the NCE must redeploy the capital in another qualifying investment.
The key arguments made in the IIUSA letter include that they see no legal basis for “at risk” redeployment of NCE investments. They maintain that the investment is “at risk” as long as it is not returned by the NCE to investors.
The association states that if USCIS rejects this assertion and still requires redeployment beyond the NCE level, any EB5 investment made after the job creation requirements are met should be acceptable. Further, any such redeployment of funds should be allowed anywhere in the U.S. — with no requirement to redeploy within the regional center’s territory or within a Targeted Employment Area (TEA).
Another key point made by IIUSA concerns the matter of an individual investor’s right to withdraw at redeployment; they argue that with retrogression causing significant processing times, it is fair for certain investors to abandon the immigration process and have their capital returned — without such an act being interpreted as an impermissible right of redemption that could impact all the other investors in the NCE .