As we approach the end of the immigration fiscal year on September 30, EB-5 regional centers must also prepare to file their annual Form I-924A with USCIS. All regional centers must file Form I-924A, Annual Certification of Regional Center to maintain their regional center designation for the upcoming fiscal year. Any new regional center designated before September 30, 2017 must also comply with this annual requirement.
Although in previous years this was a routine task, USCIS has increased its scrutiny of annual Form I-924A filings. Indicative of this increased attention, USCIS implemented a filing fee for the first time last December of $3,035, revised the I-924A form, and held a webinar in August to discuss changes and points of emphasis.
Regional centers should give their annual filings proper attention and diligence, as any discrepancies or inaccuracies could result in negative action by USCIS. Those with active projects must clearly explain their total investment and job creation figures to avoid confusion by USCIS.
However, USICS is no longer very lenient regarding regional centers without any activity. It is increasingly common for USCIS to question whether regional centers continue to promote economic activity in their geographic areas if no I-526 petitions have been filed. To avoid the issuance of a Notice of Intent to Terminate (“NOIT”), regional centers should include extensive documentation to show their continued activity.
The Form I-924A filing window runs from October 1 to December 29. If you have questions about your regional center designation, please contact Wolfsdorf Rosenthal to develop a strategy for this year’s filing.