The lawsuit challenges the unilateral deauthorization by USCIS of the over 600 designated regional centers existing at the time that the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA) was enacted into law, as well as its interpretation of the RIA that requires every regional center to apply anew for designation and receive approval as such before commencing operations.
TOI had earlier covered this new development requiring redesignation by regional centers. The EB-5 program has been gaining popularity among high net worth families in India and also H-1B workers. Investment via a regional center is the preferred route and it offers a green card in a shorter span as compared to, say, an employment-linked green card that takes years for an Indian applicant.
These regional centers – Civitas Capital Group, EB5 Capital, Golden Gate Global, CanAm Enterprises, and Pine State Regional Center – and IIUSA contend that USCIS’s position is contrary to the plain meaning of the RIA and thwarts Congressional intent in enacting the RIA.
“We are putting our different business interests aside and joining forces to reach the common goal of protecting our clients’ rights and continuing to provide needed capital for economic development projects,” said the plaintiffs in a joint press statement.
“Through this action, we seek to protect the viability of this highly successful economic development and job-creating program, the regional centers that facilitate the program, and the foreign investors who participate in the program. We believe Congress intended to allow regional centers to immediately get back to the business of EB-5 – while at the same time working to bring themselves quickly into compliance with the new integrity and other requirements of the RIA. In fact, there is consensus within the EB-5 industry that Congress intended to have the Regional Center program back in business as soon as the RIA was in effect on May 15, 2022,” said another statement.
Collectively, these five EB-5 operators manage 26 regional centers across 21 states in the US. Over the years, they have facilitated $5.3 billion in EB-5 investments, developing 143 projects across the country, and they are responsible for the creation of more than 190,000 jobs for US workers.
According to the data collected and analysed by IIUSA, between 2008 and 2021, the EB-5 Program helped generate $37.4 billion in foreign direct investment to create and retain US jobs for Americans, all at no cost to the taxpayer.