Indian American Judge Makes Ruling Against USCIS
In today’s blog, we will be taking a look at the recent judgment passed by the California judge regarding EB-5 Regional Centers.
An Indian American judge in California has ceased the “deauthorized” status of EB-5 Regional Centers by approving Behring Regional Center’s request for a Preliminary Injunction against the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
What is being seen as a major victory for the EB-5 sector, the ruling of Judge Vince Chhabria of the US district court for the Northern District of California has exempted all EB-5 regional centers from being impacted by how USCIS construes the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022.
The act had given a fresh chance to the EB-5 Regional Center program, which had expired on 30 June 2021, giving immigrants a chance to get permanent residence in the US via the investment pathway.
Included in the omnibus spending measure for the Fiscal Year 2022, it also increased the criteria for a minimum investment to $800,000 for targeted investment regions and $1,050,000 for conventional investments.
But, as part of the Act, all previously appointed EB-5 Regional Centers under the original program would need to be re-assigned or get a new registration per the new law.
Behring Regional Center petitioned against the Department of Homeland Security on 22 April 2022 making a request for a directive to block the condition for reassignment. Another petition was filed by a group of five regional centers afterwards.
These lawsuits called into question the one-sided de-authorization by USCIS of more than 600 designated regional centers present at the time when the RIA came into effect.
The lawsuits identified the agency’s guidance as in breach of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and misrepresenting the new EB-5 law established by Congress.
The EB-5 program has become very useful among wealthy persons from India and Indian citizens having H-1B visas as it provides a comparatively quicker path to a green card.
Around 90% of investments are routed through regional centers, instead of the direct pathway as the latter needs investors to carry on their own business and hire American workers.
According to the Invest in the USA (IIUSA), USCIS is fundamentally enjoined from treating as deauthorized the previously appointed regional centers based on its almost certainly inaccurate clarification of the Integrity Act.
It further stated that the agency may do whatever is fairly required to make sure that current regional centers adhere to the Integrity Act, but those centers should currently be authorized to operate within the regime of the Act.
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