U.S. Alert – USCIS Updates Guidance, Accepts Comments on Regional Center Geographic Area

USCIS Updates Guidance, Accepts Comments on Regional Center Geographic Area

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a memorandum on August 24, 2018, announcing that it is updating guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding a regional center’s geographic area, requests to expand the geographic area, and how such requests affect the filing of Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. USCIS said the updated policy guidance “is controlling and supersedes any prior guidance.”

USCIS said the updated policy guidance:

  • Clarifies that USCIS reviews whether an economic methodology is reasonable to demonstrate that a regional center’s geographic area is limited, to include whether the multipliers and assumptions about a project’s geographic impact are reasonable.
  • Explains that a regional center’s geographic area must be limited, contiguous, and consistent with the purpose of concentrating pooled investment in defined economic zones.
  • Affirms that a Form I-924 amendment must be filed and approved to expand the regional center’s geographic area for requests made on or after February 22, 2017.
  • Clarifies how USCIS adjudicates regional center-associated Form I-526 petitions where the regional center has requested an expansion of its geographic area.
  • Explains that USCIS considers a change in regional center affiliation a material change in cases where the change takes place after Form I-526 has been filed.

USCIS is accepting comments on the policy guidance update until September 9, 2018. For more information, see https://www.uscis.gov/outreach/feedback-opportunities/policy-manual-comment.

The policy alert is at https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Laws/20180824_EB5GeographicArea.pdf. The USCIS Policy Manual is at https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual.html.