Dramatic Hike Proposed for EB-5 Filing Fees

EB-5 Filing Fees

Dramatic Hike Proposed for EB-5 Filing Fees

On May 4, 2016, USCIS published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register inviting public comment, until July 05, 2016, on the proposed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule (http://federalregister.gov/a/2016-10297). There proposed fee changes show a dramatic jump for some forms.  The fee changes affecting EB-5 forms are listed as below:

  • Form I-924A: currently, there is no fee for this form. DHS proposes a fee of $3,035, with a new title, “Annual Certification of Regional Center”
  • Form I-924, Application for Regional Center Designation under the Immigrant Investor Program: proposed increase from $6,230 to $17,795
  • Form I-526, Immigrant Petition: proposed increase from $1,500 to $3,675
  • Form I-829 petition to remove conditions: no change, current fee $3,750

After a comprehensive review, USCIS determined that the current fees do not recover the full costs of the services it provides, and that adjustments to the fee schedule is necessary to fully recover costs for USCIS services and to maintain adequate service.
This is quite an increase, especially for I-924 Forms, with a difference of $11,565!  Is this a way to deter regional center designation application filings?!!  However, in the proposed rule, DHS does request any data that would help to further assess the impact on small entities.  As quoted, “DHS does not have sufficient data on the revenue collected through administrative fees by regional centers to definitely determine the economic impact on small entities that may file Form I-924.”
Please note these are only proposed changes and will not take effect right away as 60 days are given for comments and time is needed to evaluate prior to publishing the final rules.