Form I-924 Regional Center Practice Pointer: USCIS Now Wants All Fields Completed
One of the purposes of Form I-924 is to file an exemplar for a specific EB-5 investment project. In so doing, a Regional Center seeks a preliminary determination of EB-5 compliance for a project prior to the commencement of I-526 filings by individual investors so as to have greater assurance that investors will not encounter issues with the project documents during their individual adjudications.
Part 3 of Form I-924 (excerpted below) solicits information about the Regional Center, its location, its management and administration team, its ownership and management structure, and its corporate history, among other things. In submitting an I-924 for purposes of updating a previously approved exemplar petition, practitioners were able to input “N/A” or “No change from original filing” in these fields when there were no changes to report on that particular point and USCIS accepted such practice for years. However, in recent weeks, USCIS has emailed Requests for Clarification when these fields are not explicitly responded to—irrespective of whether there are no changes to report. This recent change in adjudicatory practice was further confirmed in the USCIS EB-5 Stakeholder teleconference held on Aug. 29, 2016.
Additionally, USCIS is now commonly issuing a Request for Clarification in which it requests the full names and dates of birth for the “management companies/agencies, regional center principals, agents, individuals, or entities who are or will be involved in the management, oversight, and administration of the regional center as requested in Part 3 section D of the Form I-924,” despite the fact that this information had not changed since the prior filing. USCIS has also issued Requests for Clarification seeking this and similar information in connection with new commercial enterprises as well—not just with respect to the Regional Center principals and management teams.
To that end, Regional Centers may receive such a Request for Clarification from USCIS and must respond to USCIS with the information in ten (10) business days or it is likely a Request for Evidence will be sent on the Form I-924 Application. Regional Centers should answer all fields on Form I-924 in order to avoid receiving a Request for Clarification which may delay the overall processing time of their exemplar amendments. This should be done even if there are no changes since the prior filing with USCIS.