As of February 19, 2022, a number of government agencies find themselves the defendants against a lawsuit. Amongst these agencies are United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Department of State (DOS), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The plaintiff is Behring Companies, who is filing the lawsuit in protest to the continued suspension of the Regional Center Program and the agencies’ lack of action in reinstating the program. In addition to the program’s reinstatement, the lawsuit aims to force these agencies to arbitrate pending I-526 petitions from current EB-5 visa holders and regional center investors.
Behring Companies is no stranger to filing EB-5 investment-related lawsuits. Back in June 2021, the company successfully won a court case that eventually led to the repeal of the EB-5 Modernization Rule. The repeal remains valid as of February 2022 and as a result, the EB5 investment minimum amount was substantially lowered and remains so to this day.
Why it is Imperative that the Regional Center Program is Reinstated
The suspension of the regional center program has gone on for over eight months, an undesirable state that has been a detriment to members of the EB-5 industry, including regional center organizers, foreign investors, immigration lawyers, and others. In the aftermath of its expiration, the general expectation was that the program would be reinstated shortly. But because the U.S. government has failed to act, thousands of regional center investors find themselves in the predicament of being unable to proceed with the EB-5 visa process.
Should USCIS choose to disregard the I-526 petitions filed by regional center investors before the program’s suspension, these investors will be unable to proceed with their investments and projects. As such, the lawsuit filed by Behring Companies is apt in demonstrating the frustrations currently being experienced by these investors.
Moreover, a document leaked on February 3, 2022 suggested possible EB-5 reform in the upcoming spending bill to be released on March 11, 2022. It’s likely this reform will include the reinstatement of the regional center program. This will certainly be a welcome change for all within the EB-5 industry.