On Tuesday, December 20, 2016, USCIS sent a proposed rule, titled “Improvement of the Employment Creation Immigration Regulations” to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”). Sending the proposed regulation to the OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is a procedural step in the federal rulemaking process.
The content of the proposed rule is not currently available but the OIRA summary posted in November states that the proposed changes are meant to modernize key areas of the EB-5 program. DHS, of which USCIS is a component, has indicated in the summary that “the proposed regulatory changes are necessary to reflect statutory changes and to codify existing policies, more accurately reflect current and future economic realities, improve operational efficiencies to provide stakeholders with higher levels of predictability and transparency…and to enhance program integrity by clarifying key eligibility requirements.” The summary also stated that the update to regulations addresses the following areas:
- Priority date retention
- Increases to the required investment amounts
- Revisions of the TEA requirements
- Clarification of the regional center designation and continued program participation requirements
- Further definition of grounds for terminating regional centers
The timetable for OIRA review is typically restricted to 90 days but there is no minimum review period, according to the OMB. According to the listed timetable, release of the rule is set for January 2017.