【ARCFE News】 USCIS RELEASED TWO NEW FORMS (I-956F & I-956G)
06/03/2022by ARCFE U.S.
On June 2nd, USCIS released two following forms: I-956F (“Application for Approval of an Investment in a Commercial Enterprise”) and I-956G (“Regional Center Annual Statement”), along with filing instructions for both forms. ARCFE has filed form I-956 for Regional Center designation on May 19th, and is currently working closely with our Attorney to prepare necessary documents for project request to immediately file upon I-956 approval.
Form I-956F is the new “project request” form - which does not have to be approved prior to the investors filing their I-526 petitions (“Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur”). Prior to the EB-5 Regional Center program’s sunset on June 30th, 2021, Regional Centers could choose to request an exemplar approval using form I-924. The biggest difference between the two is that form I-924 was optional, while form I-956F is required.
SOME IMPORTANT POINTS WORTH NOTING ABOUT FORM I-956F
Filing fee of I-956F is $17,795 (same as I-956). A Regional Center previously paid $17,795 for Regional Center designation (I-956) must pay another $17,795 for project request (I-956F).
Part 1 asks whether the project was approved using the exemplar petition prior to March 15th, 2022. This seems to suggest that the agency will take the previous approval of I-924 into account when adjudicating I-956F.
The name, ownership, organizational structure, and contact information of the New Commercial Enterprise (“NCE”) and the Job-Creating Enterprise (“JCE”) affiliated with the project to be included in the form.
Project’s location, including whether the project qualifies as a Targeted Employment Area (“TEA”) and how this was determined, along with the industries affected by the project and the expected amount of EB-5 investment must also be included.
Regional Centers must file form I-956H (“Bona Fides of Persons Involved with Regional Center Program”) along with the I-956F petition to report all persons with substantive authority in both NCE and JCE.
Regional Centers must (1) confirm that all material risks have been disclosed to investors, (2) list out any of project affiliated entities that are subject to bankruptcy, and (3) disclose pending litigation and potential conflicts of interests.
Regional Centers must also confirm that they have policies and procedures to monitor securities’ issuance. In order for Regional Center to get redesignated by USCIS, they must have included evidence of policies and procedures along with form I-956.
Regional Centers must include copies of their offering documents, including but not limited to: offering memorandum, subscription agreement, business plan, economic impact study, etc.
The instructions point to an unreleased form called form I-526E (“Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor”). This seems to suggest that there will be separate I-526 petitions for the Regional Center program and the Direct program.
Form I-956G (“Regional Center Annual Statement”) formally replaces Form I-924A (“Annual Certification of Regional Center”), which has been the annual report form for authorized Regional Centers for years. While the new form serves the same purpose as the previous form, the form also includes details that reflect the new regulations from the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022.
SOME IMPORTANT POINTS WORTH NOTING ABOUT FORM I-956G FOR REGIONAL CENTERS
Must disclose any litigation and bankruptcy proceedings they are facing.
Must report the total amount of EB-5 capital investment in the fiscal year.
Must describe policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the Federal Labor Laws..
Must complete Attachment 1 for each NCE, which asks for contact information for the NCE and JCE, the amount of EB-5 capital invested into the JCE, how the EB-5 capital was used, and the job creation. It also requires Regional Centers to confirm that they have provided sufficient evidence that the EB-5 capital is fully invested and the project is making progress towards completion. Regional Centers must also disclose whether there are any material changes (significant concerns for regional centers and its investors) during the year.
The issuance of these new forms is a positive sign for investors, as they work together to ensure transparency and offer higher fraud protections to EB-5 investors. Providing transparency has always been one of our top priorities. In addition to working with our Attorney to prepare project request documents, our team of professionals are also working seamlessly to gather documents to ensure ARCFE’s compliance in providing transparency to not just USCIS but also to our investors.
Investors should take advantage of this additional time frame to carefully prepare and review their Source of Funds documents. We expect very high demands for EB-5 Regional Center investments from the Chinese, Indian and Vietnamese market, as soon as USCIS processes and approves I-956s. While the Indian and Vietnamese markets are both “CURRENT” on the Visa Bulletin as of June, these two markets are prone to retrogress, so the earlier investors file their I-526 petitions the better. With this being said, Indian and Vietnamese investors should prepare now and be ready to file once Regional Center’s I-956 is approved and Regional Center has filed their project request.
Form I-956 : Application for Regional Center Designation
Regional Centers that want to raise and manage EB-5 funds moving forward must file this form to get (re)designated (including all previously approved Regional Centers).
Form I-956H : Bona Fides of Persons Involved with Regional Center Program
Regional Centers must report all affiliated persons in the position of substantial authority in the NCE and JCE (include but not limited to all persons with “substantive authority to make operational or managerial decisions over pooling, securitization, investment, release, acceptance, or control or use of any EB-5 capital from immigrant investors.”
Form I-956F : Application for Approval of an Investment in a Commercial Enterprise
Project Request form. Different from the optional I-924, I-956F is required. Does not require prior approval to submit I-526.
Form I-956G : Regional Center Annual Statement
Formally replaces form I-924A. Form I-956G serves the same purpose but requires a lot more details to ensure transparency and compliance with the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022.
We will continue to update you with the latest news.