USCIS Fee Increase: How will it Affect EB-5? | Episode 195

USCIS Fee Increase: How will it Affect EB-5? | Episode 195

Episode 195

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the massive EB-5 Program fee increase and uncertain about its impact on the EB5 market, then you are not alone! In this episode we will discuss how the fee is likely to affect the EB5 Industry. In addition, we discuss navigating partial filings successfully, will the higher fee increase USCIS efficiency and customer service or will we see litigation over fee increases.

Join Global Investment Voice hosts and industry experts Mona Shah and Rebecca Singh as they candidly discuss what we know (and don’t know!) about the effect on EB5 Investors and Regional Centers, how USCIS arrived at these fee hikes, an increase in filing with partial investments and a comparison to other international programs.

Some highlights from the episode:

Rebecca: Some fees are reasonable. [. . .] Now others are just unfair and unreasonable.

Mona: The biggest one, which is really going to affect EB-5, I think, is going to be the increase for projects.

Rebecca: If fees go up anymore, we’ll see an increase in direct projects as opposed to regional center projects.

Mona: Here’s where we’re going to see far more partial filings. [. . .] Under RIA, you have longer to pay if you want to do it as partial, but if they’re adjudicating faster, that’s going to be an issue.

Rebecca: We talked about partial filings and we’ve talked about skeletal filings, and I want to make people aware of that difference.

Mona: USCIS hasn’t been completely transparent about how it’s calculated fee increases, and who knows what the agency is adjusting for, whether it’s adjusting for inflation since 2016.

Mona: It’s all about the results. People aren’t going to mind paying a fee increase if they see the efficiency of USCIS. Will the fee increases help fund efforts by USCIS to hire more qualified adjudicators? I don’t believe they will, because USCIS is broke.

Rebecca: I can’t think of anything better other than increases visas that will help the EB-5 Program other than a more efficient USCIS. And not just for those who have filed post-RIA, but for the older ones. And there are many, many older ones who have been waiting for adjudication for many years now. It seems that most of USCIS’s resources are just targeted on cases filed after March of 2022.