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Message from the Director: A Work in Progress: Towards A New Draft Policy Memorandum Guiding EB-5 Adjudications
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is focused on improving its administration of the Employment Creation Program, commonly known as the EB-5 Program. As part of this focus, USCIS has engaged with internal and external stakeholders to learn of their concerns regarding current adjudication policies and practices. I have had the opportunity to participate in a number of these engagements.
In response to stakeholder input, USCIS has taken the following steps, among others:
Announced adjudication process reforms, including:
The introduction of direct e-mail contact between the Regional Center petitioners and the USCIS adjudication team. This reform already has been instituted;
- The introduction of accelerated process and premium processing for certain applicants and petitions; and,
- The use of an expert Decision Board to assist adjudicators in rendering final adjudication decisions on Regional Center petitions.
- Hired economists with business analysis expertise to help guide and support the USCIS adjudication team; and,
- Hired a consulting firm to help further reengineer the EB-5 adjudication process to deliver greater efficiencies.
Additional reforms are planned. Importantly, USCIS also has reviewed its various EB-5 policy memoranda and determined that they should be consolidated into a single overarching agency policy memorandum. This memorandum will incorporate constructive stakeholder input and reflect the lessons learned since the various memoranda were initially promulgated. Given the number and complexity of issues involved, USCIS will develop this single EB-5 policy memorandum in iterative fashion, seeking public comment as the draft policy memorandum progresses.
On the following pages is the first step in this iterative policy development process. USCIS sets forth the following draft memorandum to address certain foundational issues in the EB-5 Program. USCIS seeks stakeholder input on these foundational issues before providing greater detail and addressing additional issues. This draft memorandum is a work in progress, and it is shared now to obtain valuable real-time input and to define a collaborative approach with the stakeholder community. The following draft memorandum is not operative and will not guide adjudication decisions until it is published in complete and final form. Current policy memoranda continue to guide our adjudications.
Alejandro N. Mayorkas