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


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


  • 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,


  • 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.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general

guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought

about your specific circumstances.

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