Behring Regional Center files I-956 just 1 business day after forms released
Behring Regional Center successfully filed the I-956, Application for Regional Center designation petition with USCIS on May 16, 2022. This is the new requirement for an EB-5 Regional Center to sponsor immigrant investors in the new EB-5 Regional Center program after the 2022 Reform and Integrity Act. After the 2022 Reform and Integrity Act, USCIS took the position that all previously authorized EB-5 Regional Centers had been canceled and a new EB-5 Regional Center needs to be created. A few things that we learned along the way.
- I-956 filings have a priority mailbox address at USCIS in Texas. This could potentially help segregate and prioritize processing at USCIS if the I-956’s are not being lumped in with everything else and are going to a special team or a special processing unit.
- Filing Fee of $17,795 and this is not even a project petition. This is a steep cost and definitely will cut down on people who were creating regional centers just to have them, which ultimately may cut down on poor-quality EB-5 sponsors in the end. We looked at our I-924 filings from yesteryear and the fee was only $6k or so when the Behring Regional Center was created. However, it’s important to note that fees are not a deliberate integrity measure and it is simply a market force that is fixing itself.
- Form I-956H is required for each member of an EB-5 ownership or regional center management team where it loosely refers to questions that represent some integrity measures mentioned in the 2022 RIA.
- Form I-956H requires biometrics (maybe) and fee of $85 (definitely). On the form I-956H, it says that USCIS “may” require the filing person to obtain biometrics and report certain information to the agency. Its not certain, but you definitely need to provide the biometrics services fee, that is absolutely certain.
- The form does not contain anything materially new, different or improved from previous I-924 applications. It asks simple check the box style answers and does not represent any sort of overhaul or material change to the program the proves the process truly worth the disruption.
- Congress did not ask for this process and that was made evident in a bipartisan letter delivered to USCIS and Secretary Mayorkas last week.
- USCIS has given no indication of processing times for the I-956 petition, whether they are processed on a first-in-first-out basis, equally or ever at all. (I-924 petitions were reported to take up to 5 years or more and is the core argument as to why Behring filed it’s lawsuit when USCIS indicated they thought Regional Centers were canceled. The first hearing was held and supplemental briefs from USCIS are due on May 18.
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More updates to come.